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Vesterbacka introduces concept for Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel to public

Former Rovio development chief Peter Vesterbacka thinks a tunnel to Helsinki can be built within a very short time, and that it represents no great technological challenge. He suggests the money could be raised from Chinese investors as well as pension funds, and says the tunnel could be ready as early as December 2024.

Peter Vesterbacka, former business development chief at Rovio, developer of hit game Angry Birds, has a plan to complete the Tallinn-Helsinki undersea tunnel by Dec. 24, 2024.

Vesterbacka said in Tallinn on Thursday that the tunnel is in no way dependent on the Rail Baltica project, while a tunnel in combination with the coming railway project would mean the connection of Helsinki with Europe.

Though Vesterbacka isn't a fan of the project: he thinks it isn't ambitious enough. The planned railway is much slower than current technologies would allow the connection to be, he argued.

He added that the construction of the tunnel should take five years, but possible delays needed to be taken into account setting a deadline. The construction of the tunnel according to Vesterbacka would cost €15 billion, and the project would break even 37 years after the tunnel's opening.

The tunnel would need to be made "future-proof" meaning that it needs to be built in such a way that it can be updated as technologies develop.

Vesterbacka has previously said that 70 percent of the needed investment would be raised from Chinese investors, while the rest would come from local pension funds and investors.

The first of the four stops on the tunnel's path would be Tallinn, the second 15 kilometers out of Helsinki, the third near the Aalto University campus at Otaniemi, and the fourth at Helsinki's Vantaa airport. The trip from Tallinn to Helsinki airport would take 20-25 minutes.

According to the plans as laid out by Vesterbacka, trains would be moving through the tunnel at speeds of 350-400 km/h.

The whole project isn't a big challenge technically, Vesterbacka thinks, and could be built in record time.

Vesterbacka's project is completely separate from the national plans of Finland and Estonia. A preliminary analysis of the stateside Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel plans is expected to be published in February this year, with a view to start construction in the 2030s.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS, ERR

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