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Rail Baltica could cost Baltics 3 billion euros

  • 2014-01-07
  • From wire reports, RIGA

The Latvian government will pour over four million euros into a major railroad project connecting five countries.

The Rail Baltica project plans to create a rail line from Tallinn to Berlin in an effort to create faster connection times and boost local economies.

It's estimated work on the project could be completed in a decade whilst its hoped construction work could begin next year.

It's also believed the plans could cost up to 1 billion euros for Latvia and over 3 billion euros for the Baltic States altogether.

The designs of the project and operational study on the railroad section going through Latvia is to receive 1 million euros this year and 3.87 million euros in 2015 from European funds. The rest will be funded by the Latvian Transport Ministry. 

The Transport Ministry also explains that Latvia's co-funding for the project needs to be allocated as soon as possible so the ministry could sign the necessary contracts and the project designs and the study could be implemented on schedule, which, according to the European Commission's rules, cannot be prolonged.

The European Commission could co-fund 85 percent of the project's costs. The request for funding will be submitted to the European Commission in 2015, so construction of the railroad could begin in 2016. Further funding for the project is to be provided as part of the next financial period that will begin in 2020.