Pasila Tunnel

8.11.2009 at 21:49 | Posted in I Like it Anyway, Industrial, Railroad, Strange, Walk Route | 11 Comments
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It took me a while before I decided to go explore this tunnel in Pasila and when I did unfortunately I forgot to take a flash light with me. It’s approx. 600m long so when you get to the middle it does get a bit scary. I used the camera’s flash to look around and discovered some hardly soothing drawings on the walls. Dripping water and other sounds amplified by the stone walls also played an important role during the walk. The train I was anxious to meet didn’t come but I imagine that the tracks may be still in use, so take that into account when you visit. (Update: according to Timo L. the end part of the tracks has been removed so no need to fear the train.) You can access it either from the industrial railways next to Pasila’s railway station or from the other side around Kumpula. The tunnel is part of a track that connects the ”container city” on the railway route coming from the north with Kalasatama and the industrial harbours near Hermanninranta. These interesting harbours will soon be removed to make way for new, expensive apartment blocks – part of a bigger plan to convert Helsinki’s old industrial areas into smooth housing districts.
If you’re interested in railroad related stuff check out other posts within the new railroad category.




Mysterious Railway Link

24.04.2008 at 23:43 | Posted in Industrial, Railroad, Strange, Walk Route | 4 Comments
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I’ve spotted this mysterious railway track while riding the ‘Jokeri’ bus line number 550 between Itäkeskus and Oulunkylä. In one place the bus actually uses a narrow, old railroad bridge to cross the Vantaanjoki river (see photo below). The track doesn’t look like it’s often used but it seems to be well-kept and operational. It’s linking the metro line with the VR railroads (via warehouses in the Roihupello industrial area) so it could be used to bring metro wagons from production facilities but I also wonder whether it has any strategic meaning (e.g. to transport arms/equipment to the east of Helsinki).

Update: A lot of things got cleared out after a comment from Kalle.
See comments for an update about the history and purpose of these tracks.

Here’s a map showing where the track used to end in Herttoniemi.

Here’s the whole track in the year 1964.

The destruction of industrial Herttoniemi is documented here.

Try to find the track on a larger map.

Vintage Railway Stations

21.04.2008 at 21:59 | Posted in Railroad, Walk Route | 3 Comments

In many locations around Finland you can see old, wooden houses (or sometimes made of brick) next to the railways that are still functioning as station buildings. Below are photos of a few of them that remain in Helsinki though they are not in use any more. Among them is the old Pasila railway station that, in order to be preserved, has been entirely moved to a different location a few hundred metres off the rail track.
These old stations make a very pleasant and sensible counterbalance to the functionalist steel structures of the modern stations. Especially in busy areas, they are loosing their function and becoming obsolete but it is nice to see when they are re-adapted to new functions like the one in Huopalahti that houses a café.

Old Pasila station. Locate it on the map.

Old Oulunkylä station. Locate it on the map.

Old Huopalahti station. Locate it on the map.

Old Rails in Central Helsinki

21.11.2007 at 19:58 | Posted in History, Industrial, Railroad, Walk Route | 6 Comments

oldrailroad01.jpg Old Rail Tracks

All around central Helsinki there used to be a railroad track by means of which cargo trains could directly access all the important industrial sites around the city’s southern shore. The western part of that track leading from the main Helsinki railway to the western harbour is still in use (photo above left and below) but the rest has either completely vanished or is undergoing a slow decay.


Here and there leftovers of the old rails are still visible from underneath the pavement and I have tracked down traces of them as far as the parking of the Katajanokka Terminal building (photo below left). These seem to be left there almost by accident whereas leftovers of the rails on the Kauppatori square are consciously marked by the pavement design (photo below right).

oldrailroad03.jpg oldrailroad02.jpg

Malminkartano Railwaystation

9.06.2007 at 12:00 | Posted in Architecture, Go At Least Once, Railroad, Show a Foreign Friend | 2 Comments

The most picturesque train station I have seen in Helsinki. It is placed within a tunnel bored through a rocky hill. This way the rock serves as walls and ceiling for the station.
I would definitely number it among Helsinki’s most monumental structures, possibly more impressive than some of the constructions advertised to tourists.


It used to have huge wall paintings on both sides created during one session by graffiti artists, but in 2004 these were removed and replaced by a more bland, repetitive lamp motive. This was due to the “stop töhryille” policy introduced in Helsinki in 1998. More on Wikipedia (FI).


Keski-Pasila Railways

1.05.2007 at 19:15 | Posted in Go At Least Once, Industrial, Railroad, Show a Foreign Friend, Strange, Walk Route | 2 Comments

The intriguing area between Itä-Pasila and Länsi-Pasila is, with the exception of a few old buildings on the southern edge, entirely occupied by railways and old industrial brick buildings owned by VR. It serves partly as a side-track for old trains and leftovers of broken wagons. The buildings mostly house workshops, industrial companies, warehouses and one of them is used for playing by an association of pétanque.


The old trains are not always the same but if you’re lucky and you find an open car it will offer you a trip into the past. The one I found was in a good state and I could try out the old seats.


The whole area is like a no-man’s-land or an abandoned island in-between the two thriving concrete districts. Placed between the two rocks of Itä- and Länsi-Pasila it seems to be in a hole unaccessible from above.


Container City

11.02.2007 at 13:04 | Posted in Architecture, I Like it Anyway, Industrial, Railroad, Walk Route | 3 Comments

Container City

Container City is located along the railroad between the Pasila and Kapylä stations.
A strange, little industrial town hiding a lot of interesting spots. There´s a cafeteria somewhere there probably for the truck drivers. I will visit next time I go there and describe my impressions.

Container City

Container City

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