When it opened in August 1975, the escalator at Västra Skogens metro station was the longest in western Europe. With its 362 steps, 66 meters in length and 33 meters in height, it nowadays has to settle for being the longest in Sweden, but that’s no disgrace either!
The station is served by the Blue Line and is a branch station for the railway lines to both Hjulsta and Akalla. So the escalators at the station are well used.
Therefore, it is now time for these escalators to be replaced, and we at Tunga Lyft have been entrusted with this complex and safety-demanding work. The old escalators will be decommissioned and recycled, while new ones will be installed for all passengers in Västra Skogen.
A slightly different escalator change
Working with such a long escalator requires careful planning, safe equipment and great flexibility. This is to ensure that the work flows as quickly and smoothly as possible. Even before the work started, Tunga Lyft was on site during the night to prepare the replacement, and last week we started dismantling the first escalator.
One escalator at a time will then be replaced while the other two are running as usual. This is to ensure that travelers are affected as little as possible.
For us at Tunga Lyft, every project is treated uniquely. The work in Västra skogen is – precisely because it is Sweden’s longest escalator – a little more complex than usual. In 90% of all escalator changes, they are taken out downwards, and then the escalator is taken away by a train through the subway track. Here, they will instead be picked up at the top and then taken to the street for further transportation to the recycling facility.
To simulate how the work will be done and ensure the safety of the lift, we have rigged a traverse system at the top of the escalator. The escalator is then disassembled into several different parts that are just over 8 meters long, and pulled up using a specially built lifting block that interfaces the stairs. We plan that the actual heavy installation will take five nights per escalator, then another 5-6 weeks are needed for the final installation.
In this video you can see what our workplace under the Western Forest escalators looks like.