RB Rail AS, the joint venture overseeing the planned high-speed Rail Baltic link across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, has signed an agreement which will bring it an additional €1.1 billion from the European Cohesion Fund (CEF).
This comes on top of co-financing from all three countries.
The pan-Baltic states' project has secured funding for construction activities covering approximately 130km of the main railway line from the newly concluded financing agreement and from previous rounds of applications, RB Rail AS says; together with this funding, the Rail Baltica project has been secured approximately €2.7 billion from the CEF and from domestic funding.
The new financing will support several key Rail Baltica sub-projects: The underpinning of the line in Estonia's often boggy terrain, road crossings and other infrastructure, in several stretches in Northern Estonia alone - Loone to Alu (Rapla County), from the Harju/Rapla county line to Loone, and crossings at Alu, Parila (Harju County) and Juula (Rapla County).
Land acquisition also forms a part of the project funding, as does the northern terminal stretch, finishing at Ülemiste, in Tallinn, where the northernmost end of the line will be located.
As for Latvia, the funds will be used in connection with the new station being built in Riga, and in infrastructure near Riga airport, among other things, while in Lithuania, similar infrastructure aspects will be funded; the line will run through the more centrally-located Kaunas, rather than Vilnius.
An updated cost-effectiveness analysis is planned for the end of 2024 to re-evaluate the socio-economic benefits of the project, to secure more financing and to optimize project implementation, it is reported. Rail Baltica will run North-South from Tallinn to the Lithuanian/Polish border, improving connections between "continental" Europe and the Baltic states and also Finland, to the North.
Editor: Andrew Whyte