Helsinki Airport is set to welcome its long-awaited train connection this July, when the Ring Rail Line opens. The new rail line will provide a convenient connection between the airport and the city centre.
Along with the rest of the airports developments, the Ring Rail Line will give an important boost to Finavia’s ongoing development programme, by offering passengers a faster and better connection between the airport and Helsinki city centre.
“We are very pleased that the rail line and the fact that people can travel all the way to the centre of the Finnish capital by train will strengthen our status as a world-class airport. Arriving passengers tend to search for the train signs when they arrive, so we are happy to be finally able to provide an even smoother continuum of their travel,” said Ville Haapsaari, Helsinki Airport Director.
The Ring Rail Line provides new opportunities for passengers who have good access to train services. Russian passengers will soon be able to take the fast train to and from St Petersburg, all the way to Helsinki Airport, providing them with an easier connection, and more travel opportunities.
The train connection will also benefit those working at the airport and in the surrounding area, and Helsinki Region Transport has estimated that 400,000 will use the train line for work travel on a daily basis. The Ring Rail Line will take passengers from the centre of Helsinki to the Airport in 30 minutes, and long-distance train passengers from the north can conveniently change trains at Tikkurila station to get to the Airport
“The airport will become more and more a place for unwinding and running errands. The terminal area accessible for all, already has, a grocery store open 24h a day, pharmacy and Starbucks. During the upcoming spring a new selection of cafes and restaurants, such as Burger King, will open at the area,” Haapasaari said.
The construction of the Ring Rail Line commenced in 2009, and will be 18 kilometres in length on completion. Most of the line will run underground; with Helsinki Airport station located 40 metres below ground.
The Ring Rail Line under construction (copyright: Finnish Transport Agency)
“The train connection is a good start, but the development definitely doesn’t end here. In the future we want to improve the passengers’ whole travel journey by providing more integrated, combined transport services in cooperation with other players in the transport industry,” Haapasaari added.
Getting ready for 20 million passengers
Finavia is at the beginning of a six-year development programme to improve Helsinki Airport’s capacity and service levels. The aim is to strengthen the airport’s strong competitive position between Europe and Asia, and by 2020 aims to serve 20 million passengers per year at Helsinki Airport.
The development will bring a terminal extension which will be executed in phases to include transit traffic capacity increase, a single concentrated departure and arrival hall and improvements to airport parking. In 2014, the first improvements were completed to include increases in check-in and security control capacities.
In order to further improve the passenger experience, Finavia will bring over 70 new and refurbished restaurants and shopping outlets to the airport, including World Duty Free Group and HMSHost who already launched their business in 2014.