Rail Baltic passes first funding hurdle (2)
The European Commission announced 13.1 billion euros in transport projects, including 442 million for the Rail Baltic high-speed rail link as part of its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) initiative.
The three Baltic states will have to find slightly less than 100 million themselves as part of the first stage of the project.
The total of 540 million euros should bring the project to full pre-construction readiness, including studies, planning and technical solutions for the actual railway and rail terminals.
Miiko Peris, the head of Estonia's part of the project, said the money will be used from 2016 on detailed planning of the line and the terminals, land purchase and everything else necessary for construction.
The construction part of the project is estimated to cost around three billion euros, with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania hoping for further EU funding. Estonia's part could total around 500 million by the end of the project, which is predicted to open between 2022-2025.