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From planning to opening – how we’re building the Metro

Construction start is approaching for the new Metro, and this spring we will enter a new phase. Many consultations have been held, and in 2017 we will submit a permit application to the Land and Environment Court and put the rail plans on display for inspection.

It is assumed that the plans will have been approved and the court will have granted the permit during the course of 2018. As soon as the plans have become legally binding, we can begin to build the new Metro.

Preparatory work
But, before that we need to do preparatory work. Regarding the Blue Line to Barkarby and Nacka and Söderort (the southern suburbs of Stockholm), work is starting even now during 2017 in order to be able begin construction as scheduled. The work mainly involves relocating many of the existing underground pipes that carry everything from district heating to water and sewage. Some of the establishment areas and temporary roads will also be completed during 2017. 

Major works
The next phase is the construction of work tunnels. This will take one to two years. Work tunnels are needed for us to be able to work from several directions as we build, and to raise and lower machinery, materials and people. In many cases, they will be built next to the stations and act as permanent access ways for service, maintenance and the emergency services when the Metro is completed.

During 2018 it will be time for work to begin on the actual metro tunnels, and this is estimated to take between two and three years to complete. Drilling tunnels involves blasting our way through the rock, which we do simultaneously on several fronts. If the tunnels were to be drilled only from their mouths the construction work would take much longer.

The new stations will also be built at the same time. That is the work that will be most noticeable on the surface, with work sites around every station and construction work going on both above and below ground. 

As soon as any stage of tunnel construction is complete, concrete work will begin; this is expected to take about two years. And then the various pieces of equipment will be installed, including track, cameras, lighting, ventilation, signalling systems and everything else that is needed. This will take about two years, but also includes testing of the whole system. 

When all this has been done, the Metro can finally open.