Helsinki’s trams are entering a new era. In 2018, there will be 40 Artic trams operating in Helsinki. These trams are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than their predecessors. The new tram is also lighter relative to the number of passenger seats, as a result of which energy consumption is further reduced.
The new trams also store energy released during breaking and utilise it for air conditioning and heating the tram during the winter. Meanwhile selective glazing reduces the need for cooling during the summer. The LED lighting used on the trams saves up to 40 – 60% of energy compared to the old fluorescent lights. The trams also feature improved power feedback properties.
Thanks to its articulated bogies and flexible structure, the Artic tram offers a smooth ride. It improves passenger comfort, reduces noise during its operation and is gentler for the tram rails. The new tram model is designed specifically for Helsinki and manufactured in Finland.
The tram network itself is also growing. Several tram traffic expansions are currently being planned, such as tram lines to Sompasaari and Ilmala. A tram connection is also being planned for Laajasalo. The development and expansion of rail traffic is one of the most effective ways of reducing both traffic emissions and total energy consumption.
HKL Tram Transport runs the trams in Helsinki on behalf of HSL Helsinki Region Transport The trams of Helsinki serve approximately 57 million passengers annually.
HKL develops tram technologies and trains drivers in energy-efficient driving. In recent years, a total of 52 old jointed trams have been equipped with low floor intersections, which have made the trams more accessible, increased the number of passenger seats and added several years to the service life of the trams. The new trams currently under construction are designed with environmental aspects in mind.
HKL has been training its drivers in economical driving since the 1980s. In the future, drivers will also be able to monitor the impact that their driving methods have on energy consumption themselves.