18-10-2023

Rail Baltica is set to receive an additional 1.1 billion euros for the next phases of the project implementation

Today, Rail Baltica joint venture of the Baltic States, RB Rail AS, announced the signing of an additional cross-border Grant Agreement for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding, which amounted to 928 million euros CEF support. This substantial funding, combined with national co-financing from the three Baltic States, will exceed 1.1 billion euros, enabling necessary activities for further high-speed infrastructure development. With the funding available from the newly signed financing agreements and from previous calls, the Rail Baltica global project has secured financing for the construction activities covering approximately the first 130 km of the Rail Baltica mainline.

The agreements are signed between theEuropean Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) and RB Rail AS on behalf of Ministry of the Climate of Estonia, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania. 

“Awarding of an impressive CEF grant of almost 930 million euro is giving a further push to the implementation of Rail Baltica. The Global Project is now entering into its main construction phase in all three Baltic States, hence we trust the beneficiaries will also implement this important European project in due time,” says Morten Jensen, Head of Unit at CINEA. 

The planned financing agreements will support numerous key activities, including the construction of railway substructures, civil engineering structures, service – access roads, and road crossings for multiple sections in Estonia, including the sections from Loone to Alu, Harju/Rapla county border to Loone, Parila, Juula, Alu road crossings, and others. The activities also entail the construction of railway substructure, civil engineering structures, and service – access roads from Ülemiste to Soodevahe, construction supervision services, as well as land acquisition and related procedures for the mainline in Estonia.

In Latvia, the funding from this call will be used for the continuation of construction works in the main sections of the Rail Baltica project at both international stations. This includes the construction of viaducts and access platforms at the Rail Baltica Riga Central Hub, the relocation of the existing 1520mm gauge tracks to the southern side of the newly constructed station, the construction of the railway viaduct near Riga International Airport terminal, and the elevation of station platforms. Additionally, funding is allocated for the acquisition and design of real estate properties, the establishment of the construction base in Iecava, and the construction and supervision works of the main track outside Riga.

In Lithuania, funding will be used for the construction of the railway embankment and its structures from Kaunas towards the border with Latvia: the construction of the embankment and engineering structures, access service roads in the sections of Kaunas-Šveicarija and Šėta-Ramygala, the preparatory works, the technical supervision, the risk and safety assessment, the conformity assessment and the other activities related to the railway construction. 

The additional funding will also be used for land acquisition activities in two sections: the Kaunas railway junction and the Kaunas-Lithuania-Poland border section. 

“I want to convey our gratitude for the EU’s active support and demonstrated interest in Rail Baltica, as this funding will make a necessary contribution to kickstarting the mainline construction activities in all Baltic States, involving constructing first substantial mainline components, infrastructure facilities, access roads, and implementing essential services to improve interoperability and address the project’s cross-border aspects,” said Marko Kivila, Chairman of the Management Board and interim CEO at RB Rail AS.  

The horizontal global project activities include the implementation of the delivery phase for consolidated material management supply, the implementation of the railway infrastructure sustainability framework, the continuity of IT infrastructure and solutions implementation, and Shadow Operator services for Rail Baltica, among others. 

The substantial amount of financing for the Rail Baltica global project will be added to the existing funding of over 1.6 billion euros secured for the implementation of Rail Baltica from CEF and national funding. Together with the recently approved additional financing, Rail Baltica has secured approximately 2.7 billion euros from CEF and national funding. Updated Cost-Benefit Analysis, planned by the end of 2024, to reassess the project’s socio-economic benefits, secure funding, and optimize project delivery. 

The CEF Transport program implements the European Union’s transport infrastructure policy by supporting investments in the construction or upgrade of transport infrastructure throughout Europe. 

For the background: 

In Estonia, the first Rail Baltica mainline construction works are scheduled to start in the fall. Three construction tenders have already been announced, and three more are in the preparatory phase. While most design works for point-type objects have been completed, detailed technical designs for the Rail Baltica mainline are currently underway in Pärnu County, along with ongoing environmental impact assessments. 

The first construction works in Latvia will follow the construction strategy, starting with the priority direction from Riga Airport to the Lithuanian border, and are expected to commence in early 2024.

In Lithuania, the Rail Baltica mainline from Kaunas to Panevėžys has largely completed technical documentation. In the sections, Šveicarija-Žeimiai and Žeimiai-Šėta, the installation of railway embankment with engineering structures and the installation of access roads have already begun, and most of these works are expected to be completed by 2025. This section is expected to be the first to launch train operations on Rail Baltica’s high-speed line from Kaunas to Tallinn. As for the remaining sections in Lithuania, from Kaunas to Vilnius and from Kaunas to the Polish border, the tender for design and design supervision services is in its second stage, with contracts expected to be signed by the end of the year. 

Press release by RB Rail AS