The Espoo leg of the Jokeri Light Rail project reached an important milestone in late September. The continuous double railway now runs from Kuusisaarentie in Keilaniemi all the way to the border of Helsinki through Leppävaara. The tracks connected on 30 September, when a movement device was installed at the north end of Impilahdensilta bridge crossing Turunväylä. The Espoo leg of the rail is only missing railways in Keilaniemi, where the terminus of the Jokeri Light Rail is being built at the moment.
The construction of the Espoo leg of Jokeri Light Rail has been rapid, and the City has also used the opportunity to improve other urban infrastructure. “We invested heavily in renewing other infrastructure elements in connection with the construction of the Jokeri Light Rail, such as water maintenance networks and pedestrian and cycling routes. This was done to ensure that there will be no need for the City to start major infrastructure improvement projects on these streets in the near future, avoiding further disturbance to local residents,” says the project manager of the City of Espoo, Mira Saarentaus.
Most of the Jokeri Light Rail project in Espoo will be completed this year. The construction of the terminus in Keilaniemi and some of the work in Otaniementie will continue in 2022. Installation of the overhead cables and technical systems, such as camera surveillance, will be visible in the terrain after the excavation and railway construction work has been completed.
“The Jokeri Light Rail is a significant new mode of transport for Espoo, and the project is in line with the City’s carbon neutrality goals. The Jokeri Light Rail line is linked with the current track in Leppävaara and the future Espoo city rail as well as the metro in Otaniemi and Keilaniemi, and it will improve rail traffic connections,” Saarentaus stresses. The project has increased the construction of business premises and housing along the tracks, especially in Vermo and Keilaniemi.
Of all the Jokeri Light Rail construction work, 71.5 per cent was completed by the end of September 2021, and 19.7 kilometres of the double railway are now complete. The total length of the Jokeri Light Rail line is 25 kilometres. Nine kilometres of this length is located in Espoo and 16 in Helsinki. The start of operation on the light rail should start in January 2024.