RIGA - 123 properties will be compulsorily acquired for the Rail Baltica railroad sections at the Riga Airport and Central Station, Rita Voronkokva from Eiropas Dzelzcela Linijas, the company implementing the Rail Baltica project in Latvia, told LETA.
86 of these properties are located at the Rail Baltica station and related infrastructure at the Riga International Airport, with a total area of 21.84 hectares, while 37 properties are located at the Riga Central Station, and their total area is 1.3 hectares, said Voronkova.
The project's section at the Riga Central Station will affect fewer properties, in smaller area, but purchasing these properties will be more complicated as they are located in the historical center of the city. On the other hand, the number and total area of properties to be acquired at the Riga Airport is larger, given that the railroad and all necessary infrastructure (tracks, embankments, overpasses, and others) will have to be built from scratch there. In addition, experts will be hired to assess the amounts payable to businesses operating on these properties, said Eiropas Dzelzcela Liniju Legal Department Director Kristine Krumina.
Preparations for compulsory acquisition of land plots necessary for the development of Rail Baltica railroad began in 2017. The purchases are being made at the same time as the Rail Baltica route and stations are designed, which ensures that Eiropas Dzelzcela Linijas have precise information on what properties have to be purchased for the project.
Work on designs of Rail Baltica station and other necessary infrastructure at the Riga Airport began last year. At the same time, acquisition of properties in Marupe neighborhood and on Zolitudes Street in Riga began. The Riga Central Station was next, as it is in these two locations that construction of Rail Baltica will begin in 2021.
As reported, Rail Baltica is a double track, European standard 1,435 mm gauge electrified railway for passenger and freight transport to be built from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The overall length of the railway will be 870 kilometers. The total cost of Rail Baltica in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is estimated at around EUR 5.8 billion.