Ditch Rail Baltic for Local Upgrade, Says Think Tank ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Estonian chapter of the Club of Rome global think tank said that the Rail Baltic project should be dropped in favor of upgrading Estonia's own train lines, as Rail Baltic's focus has shifted from passengers to cargo.

The club, which unites 58 scientists and public personas in Estonia, said that Estonia's partners in the project, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, have changed their tune since 2011 when Estonia approved the plan.

Estonia has little to gain from the transportation of foreign goods through the country, compared to the socioeconomic and environmental damage the building of the track would cause, the club said.

Another sore point is the profitability of the whole project, as the Estonian taxpayer will have to foot the difference, if the lines fall into the red.

The state should, instead, invest in the historic rail line on the Tallinn-Tapa-Tartu-Valga front, which would give a boost to the economy of central and southeastern Estonia.