In mid-October, extensive work commenced on one of the most significant sites for Rail Baltica, the construction of the Ülemiste passenger terminal.
Although Anvar Salomets, the Chairman of Rail Baltic Estonia, project implementing body in Estonia, acknowledges that the dismantling of the old 1520mm railway took slightly longer than expected, there is now ample space at the planned construction site, allowing the construction of the Ülemiste terminal's railway infrastructure and substructures to begin.
"The first phase of the Ülemiste terminal construction has begun, and it marks the start of a long journey in transforming the wasteland between Suur-Sõjamäe and Peterburi maantee into a new international gateway for Tallinn and all of Estonia," Salomets said.
In the first phase of the Ülemiste passenger terminal, the construction works of the railway's underground load-bearing structures will be carried out, also the technical rooms of the underground floor and other technological rooms of the railway will be built. Additionally, three tunnels will be built, providing pedestrians and cyclists with an easier and safer way to cross under the railway, significantly improving connectivity in the area compared to the present.
Regarding the construction works of the first stage, the contract was signed in April of this year, and the volume of the contract is 45 million euros financed up to 85% by European Union funds.
Subsequent phases for the Ülemiste terminal will include the construction of public areas, roads, streets, parking lots, and a tram line that is currently in the design phase. Rail Baltic Estonia plans to announce a construction tender for the terminal building next year.
Salomets believes that the increasing construction volumes for Rail Baltica development will help infrastructure companies stay afloat even when road construction budgets have decreased. "If we compare, for example, the year 2020 with the current year, it is clear that we have significantly increased the pace of both procurement announcements and construction, which is both a recognition of our team and the well-performing contractors," Salomets said.
Currently, there are more than 10 major railway crossing construction projects in progress, and five crossings are undergoing preliminary work to start construction. In addition, the procurement procedures for six facilities have been completed and the signing of contracts awaits. The total financial volume of the construction of the mentioned facilities is more than 80 million euros, plus 3 more facilities, for which Rail Baltic Estonia hopes to reach an agreement this year.
About Rail Baltica
Rail Baltica is one of Europe's largest high-speed infrastructure projects, aiming to establish a modern and sustainable rail link that connects the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania with the European rail network. It is also a part of the trans-European transport corridor.
Rail Baltica will be a fully electrified, double-track railway with a standard gauge of 1435 mm and will be equipped with ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) and designed to meet European standards. With a design speed of 249 km/h, Rail Baltica will significantly reduce travel times between the Baltic States and major European cities. It will serve as a modern infrastructure for passenger, freight, and military mobility, promoting accessibility and facilitating business, tourism, and cultural exchange. Additionally, the project will enhance the Baltic region's position as a vital transit hub, fostering stronger trade connections and promoting regional cooperation.
About RB Rail AS
RB Rail AS is a multinational joint venture of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania established to lead and coordinate the implementation of the Rail Baltica Global Project, the first infrastructure development project of this scale in the Baltic region. More about Rail Baltica global project: www.railbaltica.org