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Rail connection to Helsinki-Vantaa airport opens in summer

In the Helsinki region, a long-awaited rail link to the airport is to open on July 1st. However, there are still a few hitches along the way in the train-to-the-plane system.

Helsinki-Vantaan lentokenttä lokakuussa 2013.
Image: Yle

Underneath Helsinki airport, construction workers are beavering away in an effort to get the new train station ready in time for the summer. Their work will create a historic connection between Finland's main airport and the country's rail network.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing for the 700-million euro project. The underground walkway linking the station to the terminals won't be ready until late September, more than two months after the official opening of the airport station. Until then passengers will have to take a shuttle bus or walk the 200 metres to the terminals.

That's not about to spoil airport manager Ville Haapasaari's mood. He says the new link-up will put Helsinki on the same footing as its European competitors, providing an easy route to the city centre.

The airport and bus-weary travellers have been waiting for such a project for more than 60 years. When it opens it will revolutionise travel in the Helsinki region by linking two commuter rail lines to form a loop through Vantaa. Airport trains might skip three stations to cut journey times, but they'll stop everywhere else.

Even so, the project will make for a quicker--and easier--journey to final destinations across Finland.

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