Lithuania to receive about €191 mln to proceed with Rail Baltica works

Date

2016 06 22

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The Rail Baltica project is gathering pace. On Tuesday (June 21) Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the project’s coordinator Catherine Trautmann in Rotterdam signed a joint declaration on the implementation of the Rail Baltica project. There is also good news about the project’s funding: in the near future Lithuania will receive another €191 mln of EU investment for the upcoming works of Rail Baltica.

“Agreement to proceed with the Rail Baltica project is an important political commitment of the project’s partner countries. It sends a strong message to the leaders of the European Union, the members of the European Parliament and the entire EU transport community – the Rail Baltica project gets off the ground,” said Lithuania’s representative Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevičius after the signing of the declaration.

Lithuania plans to invest the received €191 mln in the deployment of the European rail traffic signalling and management system and related communications in a railway section between the Lithuanian-Polish border and Kaunas. The European gauge from Kaunas (Palemonas) will be extended northwards – a 55 km railway bed will built and the necessary infrastructure such as bridges, viaducts, culverts will be installed.

“The targets consolidated in the declaration involving the efficient use of the EU funding, the adjustment of technical parameters and the launch into operation of Rail Baltica immediately after  the project’s completion will bring together the Baltic States as well as Finland and Poland,” pointed out  Dainius Budrys, director of  Rail Baltica Statyba, a company implementing the project.

More attention has been recently given to a dialogue with Poland concerning the adjustment of technical parameters. A European-standard gauge track between the Lithuanian-Polish border and Kaunas has already been built but the rail infrastructure on the stretch between the Lithuanian-Polish border and Warsaw is in a poor state, with a speed limit of just 30km/h at some points. The speed on this track should be increased in the future. Meanwhile, in the territory of Lithuania trains are expected to run at a maximum speed of 240km/h.   

The declaration highlights the role of the joint Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian company RB Rail AS in coordinating the activities of the Baltic States and provides for submission of further applications for the project’s financing and administration of the project’s funds.

An agreement was also signed with Latvia and Estonia and RB Rail AS, a company responsible for the project’s coordination, on the administration of EU funds allocated for the project’s implementation. The agreement established common principles, procedures and arrangements regulating the use of EU funds in the project’s implementation.

The first stage of the construction of Rail Baltica, worth of €364.5 million, was completed in autumn last year and involved the building of a 120 km European-standard railway line and the renovation of an existing broad gauge track.