Internal works transport

Operation of the pulp mill required organisation of internal transport in the works area. The mill was situated on a steep and rocky island, between two river rapids. All the raw material brought along the river to the Alaja dock had to be hauled up the steep hill to the works. To improve freight movement, a few years after the mill was established, a track was built from the timber drying room to the sawmill. Later, the track was extended from the works to Alaja warehouses on the riverside. The wagons were propelled by men pushing them, but other transport was done with horses.


The old pulp mill area at the end of the 1800s. Original drawing from article by H. Seppänen / Jokvarren Joulu 1989.Traffic to the works and the other side of the rapids ran through Sahala park. Two bridges had been built across the river. The upper bridge was the so-called Sahajauhomäki bridge. The lower Iron Bridge, Rautasilta, also took the traffic into the harbour. After the old mill burned down, bridges were built across Patalankoski and Hovilanhaara for general traffic. This allowed the riverside area below the factory and the surroundings of Sahala to be set aside for works traffic only. The great flood in the spring of 1898 swept away the old bridges. A new bridge was built to replace the Iron Bridge, but the Sahajauhomäki bridge was not replaced.

After paper manufacture began, quantities of timber and other raw materials increased. The internal works rail network was extended, and horses replaced men in hauling the wagons. To facilitate the ascent from the harbour to the factory, a lift arrangement operated by electric motor was built on the slope, to lift the goods with their wagons to the top of the hill. At the beginning of the 1910s, a continuous track was built from the foot of the hill to the upper railyard, and the lift fell out of use. The rise up the hill was reduced by circling the track along the side of the hill and by excavating a tunnel through the bedrock to the upper factory yard. In the early 1920s the rail network was extended further and two Lokomo engines purchased, to replace horses in internal transport. By then, the works area had 5.5 km of narrow gauge track in total.


An aerial cableway carried chips, coal, sulphur and limestone from the harbour to the works. At the time of the old debarking plant, the logs were debarked in the upper yard of the pulp mill. The new debarking plant was built in 1934 on the so-called Police bend, about 500 m from the factory. Between the debarking plant and chip store, a cableway more than 600 m long was built to carry the chips in bucket wagons to the factory chip containers. In 1930, a cableway was built from the pulp mill to the paper mill to transport cellulose.

Another cableway about 300 m long was built to carry coal, fuel chips, sulphur and limestone from the riverside store to the works. There was a coal hoist in the harbour, used to move the coal from the barge onto the coalyard. Adoption of elevated conveyance was a revolutionary improvement in the works internal logistics.