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Tampere tram project comes in under budget

The city's first tram system started running on Monday. The group behind the project said it came in €34 million under budget.

Tampere residents can now take the tram - ahead of schedule. Image: Miikka Varila / Yle

Tampere's new tram system started operating this week, and operators had good news for taxpayers: the project is currently more than 10 percent under budget.

According to currentcost forecasts the building project, which began in 2017, undershot its original cost estimate of around €300 million by around €34 million. Builders also finished the light rail network ahead of schedule.

According to Pekka Sirviö, Managing Director of tram construction alliance Tampere Tramway, even the weather helped the tram come in under budget.

"The weather has certainly been in our favour, as we were able to extend the construction season, which has meant that the works were completed more quickly. We were also able to carry out the planned winter work more cheaply because the ground hadn't frozen and we could work without tents," he said.

Sirviö said the alliance also managed to make savings on materials through flexible procurement and tendering processes. During the construction project some working practices were adapted from the original plan.

"In the case of the supporting structures, i.e. bridges and retaining walls, solutions were found that resulted in savings," he said.

Final total still to come

While Tampere Tramway has announced the estimated cost saving of €34 million, the final total cost of building the city's tramway may not be known for another five years.

"Some of the work is still in progress and the final sums will only be known after the guarantee period ends in five years," Tampere's director of urban environment Mikko Nurminen said.

Tampere Tramway boss Sirviö confirmed that the final amount saved would only be known then.

"Of course, the saving is already a reality, we have not spent all the money earmarked for the investment," he added.