Construction work started on the first stage of the Rail Baltic passenger terminal at Tallinn's Ülemiste this month but it is not expected to to fully completed by the initial 2027 deadline.
The old tracks have been removed and work has begun to erect the foundations.
The construction of the first stage will cost €45 million and there is a lot of work to do.
"This is the first real megaproject in the Estonian sense of the Rail Baltic concept. It is certainly a very big challenge for us. We're taking out about 10,000 semi-trailers of soil and pile and then bringing in concrete. The whole terminal area is 800 meters long, we can say it's a horizontal skyscraper," said Janno Oja, chief project manager of the Ülemiste terminal.
This is only the first stage and the contract for the construction of the terminal building will be announced next year. But it is already clear that not all the work will not be finished by the initial deadline. It is expected to be an "empty box".
"The question is the feasibility, whether it is reasonable to open it up in its full size, in its full functionality, before 2030, because the full consumer base does not yet exist. And the other half is money, which already extends into the next financial period, the prospects for which are still to be seen," said Rail Baltic Estonia's Chairman of the Board Anvar Salomets.
The terminal will start to be used before the completion of Rail Baltica.
"In fact, the customer already exists, mobility on the existing rail infrastructure in the form of Elron's service, no doubt tram connections, bus connections," said Salomets.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright