First design contract for Rail Baltica signed

Render of a planned wildlife crossing, or ecoduct, along the Rail Baltica route.
Render of a planned wildlife crossing, or ecoduct, along the Rail Baltica route. Source: RB Rail AS

Representatives of joint venture RB Rail AS and the Spanish company IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture S.A.U. on Friday signed a contract in Tallinn for the design services for a section of the Rail Baltica railway between Pärnu to Rapla.

This is the first design contract to be signed for Rail Baltica's main route, with six more to follow shortly, RB Rail AS said in a press release.

The section in question, projected to be 71km in length, is to span from the border between Harja and Rapla Counties to the village of Tootsi in Pärnu County. According to the preliminary design, this section will include 13 road viaducts, nine railway viaducts, nine wildlife crossings, and four railway bridges. The total contract price for this section is €6,802,522 exclusive of VAT, including design and design supervision.

Within the next 24 months, IDOM, in partnership with local Estonian company Skepast & Puhkim OÜ, will deliver the design services for the construction of the railway substructure, superstructure and related civil structures. Design services will include site investigations, value engineering, development of the master design, detailed technical technical design, as well as design supervision services during the construction period.

"Beginning design activities on the first section of the main line is a significant achievement for all partners involved in the Rail Baltica Global Project," said RB Rail CEO Timo Riihimäki. "RB Rail AS has conducted a successful international procurement procedure, and we are well prepared to begin the design works."

According to Riia Sillave, CEO of Rail Baltic Estonia, an important signal was given to the Estonian construction market on Friday: that project timing had gained clarity and midterm resource preparation can begin.

"I am glad that in this contract already, European railway experience is being combined with Estonian companies with thorough knowledge of our country specifics," Ms Sillave said.

In all, seven of 11 planned procurement procedures for detailed technical designs have been launched across the Baltics, covering 57% of the entire Rail Baltica track.

Rail Baltic is a double track, European standard 1,435 mm gauge electrified railway for passenger and freight transport to run 870km from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border.

RB Rail AS is the central coordinator for the Rail Baltica project. RB Rail shareholders include Lithuania's UAB Rail Baltica statyba, Latvia's SIA Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, and Estonia's Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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