The planning agreements for the one-hour Turku rail link have been signed and the planning begins in October 2021. Sitowise is tasked with a 31-kilometer-long section from Lempola, Lohja to Suomusjärvi, which Sitowise’s specialists are fully responsible for planning. The planning agreement is valued at approximately five million euros and the railway plan is due to be completed in 2023.

Seppo Veijovuori

– The planning section between Lohja and Suomijärvi is characterized by tall rocky hills, which the railway track will pass under in tunnels. Majority of the track is in the same terrain corridor as the Turku motorway. There are 11 rock tunnels in the planning area, with a total length of about 6.3 kilometers, and about 31 bridges with a total length of about 4.2 kilometers. The railway plan also includes a significant amount of planning the emergy access roads for the crossing roads and tunnels, says Seppo Veijovuori, Sitowise’s project lead for the railway plan.

In addition to Sitowise’s section, plans for the section between Espoo and Vihti will be produced by Sweco Infra & Rail Oy, the section between Vihti and Lohja by Ramboll Finland Oy, and the section between Suomusjärvi and Salo by Afry Finland Oy. The combined value of these contracts is 21 million euros. Sitowise was also involved in the preparation of the general plan prior to the railway plan and in the environmental impact assessment of the Helsinki–Turku project.

– This is the first time that rail connections are being planned as a project partnership in Finland. We are delighted that the agreements have been signed and the work can begin in earnest, says Pekka Ottavainen, the Managing Director at Turku One Hour Train Ltd.

In addition to the direct railway line between Espoo and Salo, the Helsinki–Turku rail link project includes four other entities: Espoo city line, Salo–Turku railway line, Turku railway yards, and the environmental impact assessment of the Helsinki–Turku high-speed rail link project. Sitowise is also involved in the preliminary plan of the Hajala–Nunna railway section and planning the Salo–Hajala railway section.

The combined value of these contracts is 21 million euros.

EU’s CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) funding has been granted for the planning stage of the project due to its importance. The funding granted for the planning of the Espoo–Salo direct line and the double-track section between Salo and Turku amounts to 50 percent of the total cost, up to a maximum of 37.5 million euros. In addition to the state, the project partnership includes the cities of Turku, Espoo, Helsinki, and Lohja, the town of Salo, and the municipalities of Vihti and Kirkkonummi.