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8 août 2007 3 08 /08 /août /2007 13:50
En 25 ans, les habitants d'Helsinki ont appris à aimer leur métro.
Inauguré le 2 août 1982 par le Président Mauno Koivisto, il suscita des marques de suspicion de la part des finlandais. La même aversion s'était manifestée au début du 20ème siècle lors de la mise en service du métropolitain parisien.
Ses opposants au sein du Conseil municipal avaient même préparé des projets alternatifs pour se servir des tunnels si l'exploitation devait cessée.
25 ans après une brochure vient d'être publiée en l'honneur de cette réalisation.
Extrait de Helsingin sanomat in english.

In 25 years, Helsinki residents have learned to love their Metro


In 25 years, Helsinki residents have learned to love their Metro
In 25 years, Helsinki residents have learned to love their Metro
In 25 years, Helsinki residents have learned to love their Metro
By Anna-Leena Pyykönen
     
      Thursday, August 2nd, marked a quarter of a century from the time that President Mauno Koivisto officially inaugurated the Helsinki Metro.
      Service began already in the early summer of 1982 on an experimental basis, during the morning and afternoon rush hour, but on the second of August, full service began between the Central Railway Station and Itäkeskus.
      To mark the anniversary, Helsinki City Transport has published a history of the phases of the Metro. The book is a reader-friendly illustrated work, with the voice of both passengers and planners of the Metro. The story is enlivened by a large quantity of newspaper clippings.
     
The metro initially awoke considerable suspicion among Finns, but it rapidly achieved popularity among passengers.
      When it was in its planning stages, some citizens and politicians considered the project to be too expensive, and saw it as a kind of megalomania.
      Now it has paid itself back, considering the savings deriving from the reduction in bus traffic.
     
Opponents in the Helsinki City Council came up with alternate ways to use the tunnels that had ben dug, if the project was cancelled. However, it has not proven necessary to grow mushrooms there, although such a suggestion had been made.
      The book is orange - the colour of the metro trains themselves. It is said that the colour of the carriages is one of the few decisions concerning the metro that the City Council made unanimously and without recriminations after the fact.
      Designers Antti Nurmesniemi and Börje Rajalin chose red-orange to brighten up the landscape, which is often rather grey.
      At least the administrators of the Metro are still so enchanted with the orange that they would not like to change the colour, when new trains are needed for service to Espoo.
      Metro Director Tapio Hölttä says that the orange colour has held up well because it is airplane paint. The orange seats are also strong: only about one per cent of the seats have had to be replaced.
     
Hölttä praises the Metro as the most resilient such service in the world - made by Finns, and built to withstand demanding winter conditions.
      The book was published, appropriately, on the threshold of a planned Metro expansion. For today's opponents of the Metro, and for future passengers, it serves as a textbook on how to learn to love an enemy.
      The book was written by Tapio Tolmunen, Information Officer of Helsinki City Transport. The graphic design is by Eija Nygård.
     
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 2.8.2007

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