Vantaa light rail is a 19.3km-long railway line being developed between Mellunmaki and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Vantaa, Finland.
The project is being developed with an estimated investment of €606m ($655m) by Paakaupunkiseudun Kaupunkiliikenne, a public transport operator in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
Construction of the project is scheduled to commence in 2024 and the railway line is expected to begin operations in 2029 after a five-year construction and testing phase.
The light rail route will connect Vantaa’s regions more closely and serve as a development corridor, enabling the growth of key regional hubs with local services along the stations.
In addition, it is expected to promote sustainable mobility by reducing 5,000 annual car trips a day. It will also improve the internal mass transit system in the region and workplace accessibility in areas such as Aviapolis and Jumbo, making everyday trips shorter and local services more accessible.
Vantaa light rail location
The Vantaa light rail is being developed in Vantaa; an international airport city located within the Helsinki metropolitan area. Vantaa is the fourth biggest city in Finland, with over 28,000 residents. The city is expected to have more than 310,000 residents by 2050.
Vantaa light rail project development details
The general plan for the Vantaa light rail project was completed in 2019 and further planning began in 2020.
The project included three phases of planning: a strategy plan, local detailed plans and street and park planning. Areas for employment, traffic, nature and recreation were selected under the strategic plan to show urban development along the route.
The initial proposal was made in March 2022 and the strategic plan proposal was made in June 2022. By the beginning of 2023, draft street designs, street plan proposals and local detailed plan proposals were submitted in phases.
The Vantaa City Council approved the construction of the project in May 2023.
Vantaa light rail project details
The Vantaa light rail line will be 19.3km long, of which 800m will be in Helsinki to connect to the metro. It will connect Mellunmaki, Hakunila, Tikkurila, Aviapolis, Helsinki and the Helsinki-Vantaa international airport areas. It will include 27 stations at an average distance of 800m between the stations.
The trains on the line will operate at a maximum speed of 70km/h and have a capacity of 174 passengers per car. The service frequency of the line will be 7.5 minutes during peak hours.
The project includes a 1.6km tunnel beneath the Vantaa city, with the planned area starting at Kielotie in western Tikkurila. The tunnel will be developed at a depth of between 6m and 12m.
It will become a major part of the public transport system in the Helsinki metropolitan region and will connect to the existing transport system in Mellunmaki, Tikkurila and Aviapolis, along with the Ring Rail Line and Helsinki’s future transport network.
Vantaa light rail financing
The City of Vantaa will contribute €414m ($447m) for the Vantaa light rail project, with 30% or €177m ($191m) covered by a subsidy provided under the state’s MAL plan, which aims to promote land use, housing and transport in the Helsinki region.
Engineering, architecture and consultancy company Ramboll won the engineering contract for the project in 2020.
Ramboll, along with Sweco, an engineering and architecture consultancy, will design a 9km rail line between the airport and Tikkurila with 12 stops.
Sitowise, a planning and consulting services provider, won the contract for the planning of the Tikkurila section between the eastern and western parts in October 2021.
The traffic impact report for the Vantaa light rail project was completed by WSP, an engineering and professional services corporation.