Construction of the western section of the Tampere tramway over halfway complete – tram traffic to Santalahti to start in August

The construction of the second section of the Tampere tramway (Pyynikintori-Santalahti-Lentävänniemi) is over halfway complete. A new phase of the project began in March when the construction of bridges started in Näsisaari. This year, the next milestone of tram traffic in Tampere will also be reached when the line between Pyynikintori and Santalahti starts in August.

“Construction of the tramway continues as planned and within the budget. More than half of the work related to the second section has been done, with 56% of the time scheduled for the project spent. This year, other track work will be completed with the exception of the section in Näsisaari, where the track will be built next year,” says Project Manager Sari Valjus from the Tramway Alliance.

Track work will resume again in April–May in Hiedanranta and Lentävänniemi and at the western end of Santalahti. A total of approximately one and a half kilometres of tracks will be laid in Hiedanranta, the first 200 metres of which were built last year. This year, the track work on Lielahdenkatu and Halkoniemenkatu in the Lentävänniemi area will be completed. In Santalahti, the slab track work continues in the direction of Lentävänniemi. In addition to track work, stops, streets and new municipal engineering solutions are being built between Santalahti and Lentävänniemi.

“When the track work is complete, the tramway will be equipped with overhead contact lines, and technical systems such as electricity supply stations, traffic lights and rail switch control and telecommunication systems will be deployed,” Valjus says.

Work on the Pölkkylänsilta bridge leading to the island from the east is underway in Näsisaari. Work on the Hiedansilta bridges on the west side of the island is also scheduled to begin this year. The aim is to have all Näsisaari bridges ready in 2024. After the bridge work, construction of the tramway tracks will begin in Näsisaari next year.

Traffic on the western part of the tramway will start in phases. After the test runs in the summer, tram traffic between Pyynikintori and Santalahti will start on 7 August. The construction work between Santalahti and Lentävänniemi is scheduled to be completed at the turn of the year 2025, and it will be possible to start tram traffic between the city centre and Lentävänniemi in January 2025.

Tram traffic on Sepänkatu and in Santalahti to start after test runs

Construction in the Sepänkatu and Santalahti area is nearly complete. During the spring, the pedestrian and bicycle lanes on the south side of Paasikivenkatu will be constructed. Green areas and trees will also constructed and planted. New systems have been introduced at the Paasikivenkatu electricity supply station. Earthworks are being carried out around the Rosenlew bridge at the west end of Rantatie. During the spring, the installation of overhead contact lines on the Sepänkatu and Santalahti tramways will also be finalised.

Tram service between Pyynikintori and Santalahti will start on Monday, 7 August. Photo: Wille Nyyssönen

Before the tramway is commissioned, the track and its systems will be tested with test runs in the summer. The actual tram service on the approximately two-kilometre section between Pyynikintori and Santalahti will start on Monday, 7 August. There are three tram stops on this section: Särkänniemi, Tikkutehdas and Santalahti. The Tramway Alliance and Tampere Tram will provide more information about the test runs when their schedule and plans become more specific.

New route to evolving Hiedanranta via Näsisaari

The new Näsisaari island will allow for the construction of a tramway to Hiedanranta, a residential area with a population of 25,000, and through it all the way to Lentävänniemi. The bridge work between Näsisaari and Pölkkylänniemi began in early March with the demolition of the loading berm and piling work.

“The settlement period of the island’s rock fill is approximately one year, but it was possible to start bridge construction already as the structures will be built on pillars. After the piling, the construction of the bridge’s substructures will begin,” says Tramway Alliance Site Foreman Perttu Vähä-Pietilä.

The bridge work between Näsisaari and Pölkkylänniemi began in early March. Photo: Wille Nyyssönen

The first bridge to be built is the Pölkkylänsilta bridge on the eastern side of Näsisaari, which will be used by tram traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge will be roughly 70 metres long and 16 metres wide. The work will progress during the summer with the construction of the bridge scaffolding and mould and reinforcement work. According to the current goal, the casting of the bridge is planned to be carried out in the autumn.

The Hiedansillat bridges are two bridges that will lead to Hiedanranta on the western side of Näsisaari. Their construction is scheduled to begin in the summer, if the settlement of the island’s fill allows for this. Tram traffic will use the north bridge, and the south bridge will be for car traffic. Both of the bridges will also have cycling and pedestrian lanes. Both bridges will be 13 metres wide. The length of the north one will be 105 metres and the south one 111 metres.

Cementing the deck of the Rosenlew underpass across Paasikiventie to Pölkkylänniemi will be carried out in April. The next step after the concrete has hardened is to reinforce the deck by post-tensioning, i.e. the concrete structure will be compressed with steel wires slid into the bridge’s deck mould. The tramway on the Rosenlew bridge will be laid as a ballast track by summer 2024.

In the Paasikiventie area around the Rosenlew bridge, work on municipal engineering solutions and land mass changes will continue from April onwards. In addition, kerbstones will be put into place during the summer and surface structures and paving will be built under the Rosenlew bridge and on Rantatie. As the work on Paasikiventie and the bridge progresses, some traffic arrangements will be made in the area during the summer. The Rantatie junction will return to its final location in July and August and asphalting and roadway painting will also be done on Paasikiventie in August. Detailed information on traffic arrangements will be provided later.

Rest of the tracks in Hiedanranta to be laid this year

Over the winter and spring, earthworks, the preparation of stop areas and track foundations as well as municipal engineering work including cabling routes and stormwater pipelines are taking place in Hiedanranta. The track work in Hiedanranta will begin in May and will be completed by the autumn, after which surface work and electric railway works will be carried out and tram stops will be built in the area. The construction of the tram and bus stop in Hiedanranta will begin in April with the demolition of the loading berm and groundwork. As a separate project, the City of Tampere will build the street connections and pedestrian and cycling lanes related to the stop.

Hiedanranta. Photo: Wille Nyyssönen

In Sellupuisto, work on the tramway electricity supply station will continue in the spring with the installation of equipment. The construction of an additional electricity supply station in Hiedanranta near Näsisaari began in March.

The casting of the deck of Ollinojansilta bridge, which will be built in Sellupuisto, was completed at the end of March. The bridge will connect the east and west sides of the park, so that, in addition to the tramway, a separate pedestrian and cycling route will run across the bridge. Under the bridge, there will be a gravel-covered park walkway for pedestrians and cyclists. The Ollinojansilta bridge will be over 30 metres long and up to nine metres wide. A riverbed for the Ollinoja ditch, a small animal trail and a nature trail will be constructed under the bridge.

Ollinojansilta bridge. Photo: Wille Nyyssönen

Construction of the Pyhällönpuisto terminus in Lentävänniemi will begin

Construction in Lentävänniemi has progressed during the winter with municipal engineering work. The rest of the track work will be completed on Lielahdenkatu and Halkoniemenkatu this year. The track work on Federleynkatu and Kehyskatu, as well as half of the track works on Lielahdenkatu, were already completed last year. Construction work on the Pyhällönpuisto terminus and its paving will begin this year and finishing work will continue in the area until next year. The installation of overhead contact lines will begin in the early summer on the tramway streets of Lentävänniemi and Niemenranta. Technical systems, such as traffic lights and tramway safety systems, will also be installed. The roadworks in accordance with the approved street plans will continue until next year.

All traffic arrangements and the other effects of roadworks and night work during the construction will be announced on the Tramway Alliance’s website. Information about the effects on public transport is provided by Nysse. Tampere Tram will provide more information about the art on and future plans for the tramway.

Pyhällönpuisto. Photo: Wille Nyyssönen