KlaRa – Kokkola’s rail traffic and the city centre area development project is an entity combining several individual projects. It brings significant benefits especially to the business sector associated with the Kokkola Industrial Park, simplifies the traffic and the functionality of the travel chains, and promotes the positive development of Kokkola’s urban structure.
The key project in the development of the railway station area in Kokkola is the construction of the Rautatientori marketplace. The plans for the area include a versatile housing, business and event centre, with a floor area of 32,000 m². The pedestrian road area will be extended to parts of the Rautatientori marketplace. The bus platforms will be placed in the immediate vicinity of the station building. Passenger services will be improved by building waiting and bicycle shelters and by making the parking and traffic control system more efficient. At the same time, the tunnel under the rail tracks to the island platform and onward to the southern side of the railyard connects the Kosila area more closely to the city centre. Moreover, the park&ride car parks will be focused on the Kosila side.
There is a crucial need for the actions included in the KlaRa project. The Port of Kokkola, located in the Kokkola Industrial Park, is the third largest general port in Finland, which handles approximately 400 freight wagons every day. After the fairway dredging, the traffic to and from the harbour will increase further, but there is only one track for rail traffic.
Cargo traffic passes through the Kokkola railway station, which also provides passenger traffic services to approximately 200 000 inhabitants. Faster connections will increase the attractiveness of rail travel, but the structure of the Kokkola railway station is far behind the requirements of modern times.
The key investment is the double track that will be constructed from the Kokkola railway station to the port and the Industrial Park. As a result, the second track of the main line can be fully utilised. Moreover, security in the heavily trafficked urban area will improve significantly as a result of over and undercutting solutions related to the track investment.
The double track leading from the city centre to the port will enable the development of the railway station and its surroundings. Passenger and cargo traffic will be provided with their own tracks, roofed shelters will be built for commuters, and an access point facilitating travel by car, bus and train will be created.
The tunnel under the rail tracks will concentrate the urban structure by connecting the southern and northern sides of the city to each other. At the same time, it will accelerate the planned residential construction in the south. Furthermore, the new layout of the four-laned highway 8 is planned for the Kosila area.
The cost of the overall project has been estimated at 50 million euros. The sizeable project is implemented by the City of Kokkola and the Finnish government.