Rail Baltica

Rail Baltica is a project to link the rail networks of the Baltic States with each other and the rest of Europe. The project envisages a continuous rail link from Tallinn (Estonia), to Warsaw (Poland), going via Latvia and Lithuania. It officially describes itself as "linking HelsinkiTallinnRigaKaunasWarsaw and continuing on to Berlin", [ [http://www.rail-baltica.net/pub/ Rail Baltica ] ] though in reality the section from Helsinki to Tallinn will be operated by existing commercial ferries. In the future a proposed Helsinki to Tallinn Tunnel could provide a rail link between the two cities. [ [http://yle.fi/news/id86525.html YLE News ] ] The European Union has allocated 124m, in addition to structural adjustment funds provided principally to new EU members, and in addition to contributions from the member states themselves. [ [http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/07/491&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en Rapid - Press Releases - EUROPA ] ] The project is part of the European Union TEN Trans-European Networks. The project is due for completion in 2013. [ [http://www.rzd-partner.com/news/2008/04/18/322781.html Latvia to Begin Constructing Rail Baltica — News — RZD-Partner Portal ] ] Another aspect of the project is the conversion of the Baltic States' rail network to Standard Gauge (1,435 mm), thus improving rail integration with Europe at the expense of integration with the Russian system (1,524 mm gauge). [ [http://www.transp.lt/Default.aspx?Element=IManagerData&DL=E&TopicID=2&ArticleID=4098&Page=3&Page2=0&Action=0&SearchTXT= Lietuvos Respublikos Susisiekimo Ministerija ] ]


On 28 April 2008, VR Group, the former Finnish state railways, announced their track repair division, VR Track, had won the contract to renovate 66 km of line from Tartu to Valga, on the Latvian border. The work is due to be completed by 2009. [ [http://www.vrgroup.fi/vakiolinkit/VRinforms/news_119.html VR Group ] ]

External links

* [http://www.rail-baltica.net Rail Baltica web site]


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