Regional train stations will be established along the Rail Baltica route by 2030, Estonia's Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Centre) has said. However, an agreement on funding individual stations has not yet been reached.
Currently, it is thought that each regional station will cost approximately €2 million. Aas hopes the funding will be found through the sale of carbon emission credits, with European Union support, or the state budget.
Possible stations could be built in Harju, Rapla, and Pärnu Counties. So far suggested stations are Ülemiste, Assaku, Luige, Saku, Kurtna, Kohila, Rapla, Järvakandi, Kaisma, Tootsi, Kilksama, Pärnu and Häädemeeste. But it is up to local authorities and residents in those areas to express an interest in having a station. Ülemiste and Pärnu will be international passenger terminals.
In addition to carrying high-speed trains with a speed of up to 249 kilometers per hour, Rail Baltic railway will enable regional trains to travel at a speed of up to 200 kilometers per hour. Freight trains will be able to travel at up to 120 kilometers per hour.
"An international railway may give a significant development boost also to the communities situated along its route, but this requires a good route network, thought-out infrastructure, and train departures of sufficient regularity," Aas said according to a spokesperson.
The manager of Rail Baltic Estonia, Riia Sillave, said that the traffic schedules of the operating plan of Rail Baltica completed in spring envisage eight regional trains moving on the Rail Baltica track per day in addition to high-speed express trains.
"A regional train can travel at a speed of up to 200 kilometers per hour, which means that it is a significantly better option than going by car or by bus," Sillave said. She added that the proposed stops could also see young families move to rural areas as there would be good, fast train connections with cities and the rest of Europe.
Rail Baltica is a double track, European standard 1,435 millimeter gauge electrified railway for passenger and freight transport to be built from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The overall length of the railway will be 870 kilometers.
Editor: Helen Wright