Helsinki metro tunnel cleaning wagon (Photo VR Fleetcare)

FINLAND: A wall-washing wagon has been produced which can cover 2 km of Helsinki metro tunnel during a single night shift.

The metro’s tunnels, including the walls, ceilings, rails, equipment housings, fire doors and escape routes, are washed once a year. The process usually takes around two months, but can now be accelerated.

VR FleetCare produced the wagon at its Pieksämäki workshop, in partnership with Citec and Suomen Ekopesu. ‘Our production line in Pieksämäki is ideally suited for this kind of small-scale series production of wagons and special equipment’, said VR FleetCare Vice-President, Commercial, Peter Guldbrand.

Based on a modified two-axle wagon underframe, the vehicle has an 11 m3 water tank, diesel generator-powered pumps with a nozzle that can reach up to 6 m, and an enclosed and well-lit cab with an operator seat and cameras. There are brushes for washing the protective housings of the conductor rails.

‘Unlike with the previous cleaning wagon, the user now has a well-illuminated closed cabin where they sit instead of standing’, said Jaakko Laurila, Procurement Engineer at metro company HKL.

‘The new machine is also more reliable and cost-effective: the washing tip has a range of 360°, washing is more efficient and the water tank needs to be filled less frequently. In addition, the detergent in the conductor rail housing is now applied by the machine, whereas it was previously done by manual spraying.’