Tram Life: Kymppi

December 8, 2014

helsinki_tram_nyc

My version of Helsinki’s tram schematic.

We’re almost done with the series after today’s post on the 10. The 10, along with the 4 (and technically the 7, but for reasons discussed here we’ll ignore that) make up the high frequency north-south corridor through the west side of the city. This is a good example of where all that duplicative service I was slamming on isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While it’d be great to have a grade-separated metro line following this alignment, that costs a lot, so joining the 4 and the 10 into a 3-minute-headway trunk between the city center and Töölön Tulli is a pretty decent alternative. Helsinki’s geography splits access from the city center into two corridors, the eastern corridor is serviced by the Metro, and the western corridor is serviced by the 4/10 trunk. While not nearly as high capacity as the Metro, it does a good job of getting people up and down the west side of the city.

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The 10 near Kirurginen Sairaala.

The 10 starts in the relatively sleepy northern edge of Ullanlinna on the southern side of the city which it connects via a dedicated alignment to the city center. From there it links up with the 4 and the 7 all the way through both Etu and Taka Töölö to Töölön Tulli where it splits from the 4 and continues north through Ruskeasuo to Pikku Huopalahti. It’s one of the only true north-south lines in the city, so it has excellent transfer points to both the Metro and the east-west 8. Much of its alignment follows the main thoroughfare of Mannerheimintie on which it has dedicated center-running right-of-way.

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The 10 on its layover at Tarkk’ampujankatu.

The 10 lacks an identity on its own, however, it shares not only the 4’s alignment but also its responsibility of being Töölö’s tram. Before meeting up with the 4 it provides crucial and frequent connectivity to the outlying residential centers north of Töölö, once within Töölö it’s just another way of getting into town. It doesn’t run particularly late, but if you’re going somewhere on the west side of the city the 10 is a pretty good bet to take you there. It’s also a pretty well-designed route, and for HSL’s silly insistence on running every possible transport route directly in front of the Central Railway Station I commend them for leaving the 10 as is and allowing it to continue unhindered to the south side of the city.

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The 10 in front of St. John’s Church.

Two simple and relatively cheap changes could make the 10 a much more useful line than it already is. First, extending the line just a few blocks north to the Huopalahti Railway Station would be a massive transfer point for not only commuter and long-distance train passengers but also for the hugely-popular BRT-like regional 550 bus. Second, extending the line a few blocks south to cross over the 1 and the 3 to finish up at Meritori on the shore would provide a great east-west transfer point for the southern edge of the city as well.

Stay tuned for a final (and riveting) installment summarizing all the proposed changes so far.


Tram Life 1
Tram Life 2/3
Tram Life 4
Tram Life 6
Tram Life 7
Tram Life 8
Tram Life 9
Tram Life 10
Tram Life

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