Homeowners Advocate Rail Baltic Nabala Route ({{commentsTotal}})

A federation of homeowners said the Rail Baltic high-speed railway should be built through the Nabala area, which is due to be made into a nature reserve, although the government is against the route.

The federation petitioned PM Taavi Rõivas to halt the process of turning the area into a nature reserve and conduct new studies, which would take into account the economic and social factors.

The federation said the area is largely uninhabited and has little natural value, and many homeowners have turned to the federation in worry that the track will be constructed on their land instead.

There are five different directions with 12 alternative routes for the track in Harju County, the most densely populated county in Estonia. The government has said there is a fall deadline for choosing the final route. The exact route in the other two counties it is due to pass through in Estonia is also not clear yet, but there are far fewer obstacles.

Anto Raukas of the federation said the track would pass half the number of buildings (608 in the 350 meter range and six in 40 meter around the track) compared to other tracks in the same price category, adding that there are alternatives which pass the same number of buildings, but which are 30 million euros more expensive.

The Minister of Economic Affairs, Urve Palo, said she prefers the track which passes by the nature reserve from the east as the government decided last week to move forward with three routes, dropping the Nabala track and reconstructing the existing Pärnu track, which would be the most expensive choice, costing up to 100 million euros more than the cheapest options.

She said the current alternatives are seven kilometers longer than through Nabala and would cost 30 million euros more, adding that the track east of Nabala would have a smaller impact on local residents than the others left on the table.