Secure City Transportation: Ensuring the World’s Northernmost Metro
Around 1.4 million people reside in the Helsinki metropolitan area. On top of that, millions more visit the Finnish capital every year. Its two metro lines are the veins of the city, and commuters and tourists alike rely on them to get from A to B. The number of passengers in 2019 reached 92 million people and, as the city’s population is growing, the transport system – and the safety and control technology that supports it – needs to grow as well.
Helsinki City Transport awarded Mipro to carry out the signaling for three projects, including two infrastructure projects; the Western Metro Extension, Matinkylä-Kivenlahti extension and one brown field project, replacement of the existing signaling on the Helsinki Metro. HIMA’s HIMax safety controllers were used to ensure maximum safety and reliability of the entire Helsinki metro network.
Ensuring Safety on the Helsinki Metro Western Extension
As the Helsinki metro was expanding west to the city of Espoo, Helsinki City Transport chose Mipro to supply complete signaling system including interlocking, traffic control systems and passenger information systems to ensure safe and reliable metro operation.
For the interlocking, Mipro supplied their SIL-4 HIMax-based TCS-O interlocking system. The signaling project started 2015 and the extension opened for passenger service in 2017 after all the construction works for this infrastructure were completed. The western extension project is considered Finland’s largest infrastructure project to date.
The extension includes 14 km of double track and eight new stations. Mipro’s HIMax-based TCS-O interlocking is controlling hundreds of signaling elements and is interfacing also to other safety critical components like rolling fire doors.
Inner-City Interlocking Ensures Maximum Availability
After successful delivery of signaling system for its West Metro line, Helsinki City Transport awarded Mipro with an extension – this time to replace the existing interlocking system on the Helsinki line, which runs east from Ruoholahti. An urban transportation project on a metro line used by more than 60 million people every year needed to be implemented quickly and easily into existing infrastructure. And this is exactly what was achieved when the system was commissioned over a single week-end in January 2019. The HIMax-based interlocking now safeguards the entire metro line – including 233 main signals – in the Helsinki area. The 21 km Helsinki line includes 17 stations and runs partly underground and partly above ground. In addition to the line section, the project also comprised a large depot area.
Matinkylä-Kivenlahti, a Second Extension for the Metro
Mipro is now installing a signaling system for the second metro extension. This extension is currently under construction and will be opened for passenger service on 2023. This extension includes five new stations and an underground depot. Mipro trusts HIMax to be the base for the safe and reliable metro operation.
Safeguarding the Finnish Line
To ensure that targets were met, our experts worked alongside Mipro to achieve the goals. Having first collaborated on a rail project over 25 years ago, Mipro has confidence in HIMA safety solutions and trusts the reliability of the HIMax controller. Despite an extremely tight schedule and operating conditions that you would expect at the world’s northernmost metro system, all project goals were met, and all relevant standards adhered to. This is largely thanks to the use of COTS (commercial-of-the-shelf) controllers which are quick to implement and commission, cost-effective, and a CENELEC SIL 4-rated solution.
Companies operating in the rail industry are also under increasing pressure to modernize and leverage the power of smart, innovative technologies as automation and interconnectivity play vital roles. That being the case, Mipro was not interested in outdated proprietary technology. The company opted for a solution with an open philosophy: a scalable controller that would support its digital transformation. HIMax was a outstanding choice because it can replace older systems or be easily integrated into the existing interlocking infrastructure.
Mipro is the biggest Finnish provider of railway safety systems and a longstanding partner of HIMA. Having first collaborated in 1987 with safety-related system installations for industrial applications, the companies have since teamed up on numerous rail projects in Finland. By entering into its first metro-related project, Mipro aspires to offer a significantly more services in the future. In this way, the company will live up to its vision of being the most reliable and recognized expert for safety-related systems.
“We chose HIMA again because their dynamic and modular software tools enable rapid software development to meet the requirements of a new customer. With the help of the modular software structure, safety can also be ensured in large-scale implementations such as the Helsinki metro.”
“Our new metro line interlocking systems are safeguarded with the most adaptable COTS safety controller on the market. The HIMax system was easy to integrate and is scalable.”
HIMA’s controller HIMax is at the center of the interlocking systems delivered by Mipro. HIMax is scalable and can be decentralized according to end-users’ operating conditions. All interlocking functions and applications, such as locally operated switches, can be implemented quickly and scaled as demand changes. Hot swapping allows fast replacement of components or modifications while remaining operative. Featuring future-proof COTS technology, HIMax, supported by HIMA’s open engineering tool SILworX, is certified for use up to CENELEC SIL 4 in accordance with EN 50126, EN 50128, EN 50129, and EN 50159.