Rail Baltica: from Political Declarations Towards Financial Planning

Date

2006 11 20

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On 26 October 2006, the working group of the project Rail Baltica discussed in its meeting held in Vilnius the final report on the EC-commissioned special feasibility study on the Rail Baltica conducted by the experts of the company of Denmark COWI.

Experts from Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia provided their comments and proposals to the compilers of the study. At the end of November they will be summarized in the meeting of the Monitoring Commission, which will be held in Brussels. They also discussed the role of the Rail Baltica co-ordinator in determining the interval of crossing the Polish-Lithuanian border and the issues of project financing.

Mr. Pavel Telička, co-originator of the project Rail Baltica, noted that much work has been done towards successful implementation of the project. According to him, consultants have prepared three versions of the project implementation. The most ambitious one envisages that the European track will extend through the three Baltic States . This option would be the most expensive. The other version of the project envisages building the European track only up to Kaunas through modernisation of the existing railway in such a way that it would allow to develop a speed of 160 km/h. The third version envisages modernisation of the existing railway to enable driving from Warsaw to Tallinn and Helsinki at a speed of 120 km/h. According to Mr. Telička, the countries will have to decide themselves as to when and how the project will be implemented.