Rail Baltic route construction to begin in Kohila Municipality next year

Render of a planned Rail Baltic train and local station in Estonia.
Render of a planned Rail Baltic train and local station in Estonia. Source: ERR

Rail Baltic Estonia (RBE) on Monday announced the first procurement for the construction of the main route of Rail Baltic, a planned high-speed railway connecting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the rest of Europe.

Construction of the main route will begin in Kohila Municipality, with a 9.4 kilometer stretch running from the border of Harju and Rapla counties to Sihi tee. The embankment to be built will be up to 14 meters wide, and should the procurement be successful, construction is slated to begin in fall 2023, RBE said.

The procurement has an estimated cost of €72 million; the deadline for tender submissions is March 9.

In addition to the railway embankment, also slated for construction along the stretch in question are various additional structures, including a wildlife crossing in Kohila, a light traffic tunnel at Sihi tee, maintenance and access roads as well as more than four kilometers of noise barriers.

The main project also calls for a total of 11 passages for small animals to be built into the embankment along this stretch as well.

According to RBE board chairman Anvar Salomets, the procurement conditions call for construction of the first section of the route to be complete by fall 2027.

"We hope to place a second, nearly 5-kilometer-long section of construction on the market sometime in December that runs from Ülemiste to Lagedi, and in 2023 we plan to launch construction procurements for at least a couple more sections," Salomets said.

Overall, the board chairman believes this year's progress on Rail Baltic has been satisfactory overall.

"We always hope at the beginning of the year that we can manage to get even more done, but for the most part we've nonetheless moved forward rather quickly in 2022," Salomets said. "We've completed eight railway junctions and several junctions are also currently under construction or will be soon. We've also gotten construction work on Ülemiste Terminal moving [after being held up] and can hopefully sign the construction contract for the first stage of this major project soon as well."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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