The progress of “Rail Baltica” discussed with the European Coordinator Ms. Trautmann

2017 03 22
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Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis met Catherine Trautmann, Coordinator for the North Sea–Baltic core network corridor to discuss the prospects of “Rail Baltica” project implementation.

'I am pleased to see the new Government of Lithuania ensuring the continuation of the “Rail Baltica” project and proceeding with its implementation at a rapid pace', noted Coordinator Trautmann.

Ms. Trautmann provided assurances that the European Commission, considering the “Rail Baltica” as an important priority project and having assigned funds for its implementation, is interested in the successful implementation of the whole project, as well as in its continuation after 2020.

'The “Rail Baltica” is a project of special state importance in Lithuania and will be definitely continued. We exert efforts to launch freight transportation by already constructed section of the “Rail Baltica” from the Lithuanian–Polish border to Kaunas in the nearest future, without waiting for the implementation of the whole project. After extending the European gauge railway line up to the intermodal terminal in Palemonas, we expect it to be used for freight transportation as early as in 2019–2020', said Minister of Transport and Communications Masiulis.

According to the Minister, the earlier the possibility to use the “Rail Baltica” for freight transportation is ensured, the sooner the economic viability of the project will be noticeable.

The Minister of Transport and Communications highlighted the progress achieved by Lithuania in the “Rail Baltica” project implementation. The European gauge railway line interconnecting the state border with Poland and Kaunas is already constructed; the special plan for the railway line from Kaunas to the state border with Latvia is approved. Lithuania has submitted applications to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and secured the investments of approximately EUR 340 million from this facility for the “Rail Baltica” project until 2021. The Minister also noted the necessity to secure funding for the part of the “Rail Baltica” project – European track gauge connection between Kaunas and Vilnius.

For the implementation of the whole “Rail Baltica” project, the EU funds investments will be needed also during the financial period of 2021–2027, favourable decision of the EU institutions on this matter is important. This May, a visit of the members of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament to Lithuania is planned, during which the achieved progress with the “Rail Baltica” project will be introduced to the MEPs, its prospects will be discussed.