Possible Rail Baltic Routes Revealed
The possible Estonian routes for Rail Baltic, a planned high-speed railroad connecting Tallinn to Warsaw, were revealed yesterday.
The current project would put the starting points in Ülemiste and Maardu, the first a passenger station and the second a freight terminal. The two routes would join somewhere between Kohila and Rapla, and then head either through or by Pärnu before crossing the border into Latvia at Ikla, ETV reported.
Some stretches of the planned railroad have up to four potential routes. Planners are seeking the shortest route possible, as less track means lower costs. Therefore, they might have to cut some towns in half, allowing for a 66-meter corridor where trains would travel at 240 kilometers per hour.
"In that 66 meters there will be two tracks, as well as all of the necessary infrastructure, including a boundary fence, service paths, all these kinds of things,“ said Pille Metspalu, the head county planning expert.
"Estonia is quite densely covered with sprawling villages so we can't avoid towns 100 percent. There will be places where we will unfortunately have to ride through towns, but we will do everything possible to use forest area and areas with as few active communities as possible,“ Metspalu said.
The project coordinators pledged to hold a thorough discussion with affected communities.
According to the current plan, construction would start as early as 2017 and the EU would provide 75-85 percent of the funding.