Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Taavi Aas (Centre) said that the Rail Baltica railway project should take into account a potential railroad bypassing Tallinn so as to preserve the possibility of diverting hazardous freight from the city center.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications instructed Rail Baltic Estonia to take into account the need for space for a potential future southerly rail corridor outlined in Harju County's 2030+ county plan in order to preserve two possible rail corridors for developing East-West passenger rail traffic in the vicinity of the Estonian capital, spokespeople for the ministry said.
There are two possible rail routes for developing East-West passenger and freight traffic in the vicinity of the capital. The southerly route would partly run parallel with Rail Baltica, while the other option would be to utilize the largely existing infrastructure of the northerly corridor.
"Initially, passengers' traffic needs in the vicinity of Tallinn will be solved with Rail Baltica's local stops, and when demand arises and resources become available to create rail connections to places not covered by the existing railroads or the future Rail Baltica in the future, it will be essential to have more than one option for the development of rail transport to analyze," Aas said.
"In the case of Rail Baltica, studies have been conducted according to which its construction makes sense and will solve actual problems, whereas there is currently no such information regarding the ring railroad," the minister noted. "We're living in the knowledge that transit volumes have shrunk threefold over the past decade, nor is there a prospect of strong growth in the future. Nonetheless, we have to think about Paldiski, and a ring railroad could become a key factor for this area's development."
Rail Baltica and the ring railroad around Tallinn are two separate projects in different stages of development; while specific plans have been confirmed for the former, only a general planning solution currently exists for the latter.
Editor: Aili Vahtla