RB Rail supervisory board appoints interim CEO, CTO ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Render of a Rail Baltica train.
Render of a Rail Baltica train. Source: RB Rail AS

The supervisory board of RB Rail AS has appointed Agnis Driksna, director of the Development and Communications Department at European Railway Lines, as interim chief executive officer (CEO) of RB Rail and Kaido Zimmermann, head of the Planning and Design Department at RB Rail AS, as the company's chief technical officer (CTO).

Driksna will assume his duties on Dec. 2, RB Rail said in a press release on Tuesday. He will be replacing Timo Riihimäki, who announced his resignation as of Dec. 1 in late October. The supervisory board will also begin seeking a permanent new CEO for the company.

Mart Nielsen resigned from his position as CTO and member of the management board of RB Rail to take up a new job in the private sector. Nielsen, who has served as CTO of the joint venture since March 2018, will remain in his position through Dec. 23.

According to a decision made by the RB Rail supervisory board, Zimmermann will temporarily fill the position of CTO.

"The supervisory board has appointed two senior-level professionals to continue the work of the Rail Baltica joint venture," said RB Rail supervisory board chairman Karolis Sankovski. "We are confident that both Mr Driksna and Mr Zimmermann will ensure continued leadership until the appointment of permanent RB Rail AS management board members."

Sankovski also noted that the joint venture's management board would soon be enhanced with the appointment of a chief program management officer who would be responsible for the coordinated and timely delivery of the railroad project.

The Rail Baltica Global Project has entered the design phase. Detailed technical design is being developed for 411 kilometers of the Rail Baltica main line. A procurement was also announced for design services for an additional 236 kilometers of the main line, and the passenger terminals at Riga Central Station, Riga International Airport and in Tallinn are currently being designed. Individual construction works have begun in Lithuania and Estonia.

Agnis Driksna has been working as director of the Development and Communication Department at European Railway Lines since 2016. Since 2014, he has served as the the Rail Baltica project manager at the Latvian Ministry of Transport responsible for international cooperation. He drew up the first funding applications to the EU and represented Latvia in joint Baltic and EU projects.

Driksna has previously served at the Latvian Ministry of Economics as deputy director of the European Union Cooperation Department and as head of the EU law division, as well as served as legal consultant to the Competition Council of Latvia. He holds an MBA in business and EU law from Riga Stradins University as well as a master's degree in EU and international law from Concordia International University Estonia.

Kaido Zimmermann has been responsible for planning and implementation activities of the Rail Baltica global project at RB Rail AS. Previously, he had been active in railway and legal consultation services in his capacity as manager of the consultancy firm Zimmermann IB. Zimmermann has also served as railway logistics director of the Port of Sillamäe, as chief engineer of Latvian Railways, and as board chairman and managing director of Estonian Railways.

Zimmermann holds a master's degree in engineering from Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ).

Rail Baltica is a double track, European standard 1,435 millimeter gauge electrified railroad for passenger and freight transport to stretch from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The overall length of the railway will be 870 kilometers. The infrastructure to be established will allow passengers to travel from Tallinn to Pärnu in 40 minutes and from Tallinn to Riga in under two hours.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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