Finland to formally join Rail Baltica joint venture

Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner (left) and Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Centre) at a press conference in Helsinki. November 2018. Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

The Finnish government on Friday decided to establish Oy Suomen Rata AB for the comprehensive development of the railway field. According to Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson, one of its areas of business will be participation in the Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail AS.

"Last November, I proposed to my Finnish colleague Anne Berner that Finland join the Rail Baltica joint venture," Ms Simson said in a press release. "The minister expressed back then already readiness to take such a step, and I am pleased to note that this readiness has now taken the form of an official position of the Finnish government, and Finland will become an official participant in Rail Baltica."

According to the Finnish government's Friday decision, a business group with five subsidiaries will be established for the comprehensive development of the railway field in Finland, and via the subsidiary Rail Baltica, the Finnish company will become a shareholder of RB Rail AS.

Following its completion, the Rail Baltica railway will become a new channel for Finnish transit to key markets, according to the Finnish government. Participation in the establishment of the international railway will also help develop the primary railway network to the north of Helsinki. The transport ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania formally invited Finland to join the joint venture late last year.

Among other activities, in connection with Rail Baltica, Estonia plans to move forward this year with developing a planned passenger terminal in Tallinn's Ülemiste subdistrict as well as a multimodal freight terminal at Muuga, located just east of the capital city. Both facilities will also serve as important hubs in connections with Finland.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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