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Rail Baltica will reduce the travelling time from Vilnius to Kaunas to 38 minutes

Date

2021 05 07

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Travelling between Vilnius and Kaunas will only take 38 minutes, reaching Warsaw, Riga and Tallinn by train will be faster than by plane, and Vilnius Airport will be easily accessible to Polish and Latvian citizens. These are only some of the main benefits for citizens and businesses after the completion of the connection between Kaunas and Vilnius in the Rail Baltica project, which were discussed at the remote meeting “Rail Baltica in Lithuania: its value for the regions”.

On Friday, representatives of the municipalities of Vilnius city, Elektrėnai, Kaišiadorys and Trakai, as well as businesses and communities were presented a review of the benefits and infrastructure development of the railway section Kaunas–Vilnius. 

“The railway section between Vilnius and Kaunas is the route that is used to transport the highest number of passengers, which is nearly 1 million. When Rail Baltica is completed, this section will obtain a higher value – a modern European connection between the airports of Vilnius and Kaunas will become a fast, convenient and safe alternative to passenger transportation, and it will create new opportunities for local citizens and businesses,” – said Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis at the meeting.

The connection Kaunas–Vilnius is vital to the viability of the global project. To make this railway section more attractive to passengers, additional regional stations and connections between them are planned.

“The decision to include Vilnius in the project has definitely increased the value of Rail Baltica. The railway was previously regarded as a connection between the Scandinavian countries and Western Europe, but the section Kaunas–Vilnius will open transportation roads to Eastern countries. Therefore, the strategic value of this transport corridor is immense,” said the director of Rail Baltica Coordination Department at LTG Infra Arenijus Jackus.

When the Rail Baltica railway is constructed, the citizens of Vilnius and the surrounding areas will have greater opportunities to travel as travelling by train to a number of large cities will be faster and more convenient than by car or by plane. It is estimated that a trip from Vilnius to Kaunas via railway will take 38 minutes, while a trip to Panevėžys should take 57 minutes. Travelling to Warsaw will take around 4 hours, to Tallin – 3.5 hours and to Riga – around 2 hours. 

The section Kaunas–Vilnius is currently under spatial planning, and four alternatives have already been determined for the construction of the Rail Baltica railway in this section. The alternative that meets the transportation needs and has minimal impact on the environment will be selected this year. 

Rail Baltica is a greenfield rail transport infrastructure project with a goal to integrate the Baltic States in the European rail network. 870 km of a high-speed double-track electrified railway with 249 km/h speed trains is to cross Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

On the initiative of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and LTG Infra, remote events to introduce the project to representatives of the municipalities, businesses and communities were held in April–May in the regions of Kaunas, Panevėžys, Marijampolė and Vilnius, where the Rail Baltica route is planned to be constructed.