Lithuania invites Poland to join in the implementation of Rail Baltica infrastructure management model currently developed by the Baltic States


2021 09 17


A convenient Vilnius-Warsaw route is expected to be launched as of the middle of 2022, and our neighbours are seriously considering to accept Lithuania’s invitation to assist the Baltic States in developing efficient management of Rail Baltica infrastructure. This piece of information has reached us after Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis returned from Warsaw on Friday, where he discussed these matters at the intergovernmental meeting and bilateral meeting with Minister of Infrastructure of Poland Andrzej Adamczyk.

“I am glad that next year we are likely to enjoy convenient train trips between the capitals of Lithuania and Poland with a single transfer in Kaunas. Railway companies are currently working on train schedules and pricing, while today, the commitment to launch this route next year was once again confirmed by the governments of both countries. We are also pleased that our neighbours intend to contribute to the speedy construction of Rail Baltica and are willing to consider our invitation to join in the implementation of the Rail Baltica infrastructure management model currently developed by the Baltic States,” Marius Skuodis said after meeting Polish Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk in Warsaw.

During the bilateral meeting the Ministers discussed the possibilities of launching the passenger route Vilnius–Warsaw as of mid-2022. The train could run 2 times per day with one transfer in Kaunas and a single ticket. This service, which is already possible due to the new Rail Baltica gauge to Kaunas, would be a continuation of the progress already made to resume rail transport between Lithuania and Poland after the launch of the passenger train route Bialystok–Kaunas.

To achieve efficient management of Rail Baltica infrastructure and ensure its convenience with regard to market participants, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia agreed to apply an integrated decision-making mechanism based on the one-stop-shop principle, which means that carriers wishing to use the railway line would be able to refer to any one of the three managers. It is important to ensure that such principle would work between as many countries operating in the corridor as possible. Poland is also invited to join this form of railway infrastructure cooperation and the process regarding the development and implementation of Rail Baltica infrastructure management model.

The project Rail Baltica is a way to integrate the Baltic States into the European railway network and a possibility to ensure uninterrupted movement of passengers and cargo between Warsaw and Tallinn.

The Ministers also discussed the progress of the international Via Baltica project aiming at connecting countries between Warsaw and Tallinn. Lithuania recently announced the start of the construction of Via Baltica section between Marijampolė and the Polish border. This section, which is just over 40 km long, should be constructed by the end of 2024.

The total length of Via Baltica in Lithuania is 268 km. It comprises five highways. By 2030, the entire Via Baltica section in Lithuania will be reconstructed to comply with the requirements of traffic organisation and safety that apply to the main TEN-T.