Development of the European railway track to Klaipėda has been approved

  • 2024-06-13
  • Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania

On Thursday, the Council of the European Union approved the new Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Regulation. The regulations, based on Lithuania’s proposal, provides for the development of a new European gauge railway line to Klaipėda. The revised TEN-T Regulation also includes a new transport corridor connecting the Baltic, Black and Aegean Seas and additional links with Ukraine.

“The development of the North-South transport corridor is of particular significance in ensuring strategic transport links with the Nordic, Southern and Western Europe. The inclusion of the European gauge railway line to Klaipėda in the new TEN-T Regulation is a solid achievement of and for our country, and the entire Baltic region that will help speed up the development of infrastructure that is important for the whole of Europe. It will also help ensure better services and more possibilities for passengers, cargo freight and will also contribute to improving military mobility,” says Loreta Maskaliovienė, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania.

The European gauge railway to Klaipėda should improve transport and logistics links in the Baltic region and Eastern Europe, fundamentally changing the Lithuanian transport system: it would create a viable alternative to road transport and help expand Klaipėda Seaport activities as the Seaport is diversifying its activities and seeking expansion into new markets.

The Regulation also defines priority European standard track development directions in Ukraine. Along with Rail Baltica and the planned European gauge line to Klaipėda  it would create a new and shortest transport corridor from Klaipėda as well as  other Baltic Sea ports up to Ukraine.

For the first time, the revised Regulation also features an infrastructure category for military mobility, where Lithuania’s greatest priorities are Via Baltica, Rail Baltica and the road Lazdijai–Alytus–Vilnius as the new TEN-T project. The development of the European standard network, especially with a connection to Klaipėda, is also important for ensuring a smooth military mobility.

TEN-T connects major EU cities with seaports, airports and railway terminals. This network also includes Lithuania’s most important international road and rail links, such as Rail Baltica, Via Baltica and the road Lazdijai–Alytus–Vilnius, as well as the road Klaipėda–Kaunas–Vilnius, the railway Vilnius–Klaipėda, Klaipėda State Seaport, the section of the River Nemunas between Kaunas and Klaipėda Seaport, the Airports of Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga, and the Kaunas intermodal terminal.

In accordance with the provisions of the Regulation, Lithuania will prepare a feasibility study of Lithuanian railway network assessing the possibilities and phases of its full transition to the European standard gauge, including the best alternatives while developing the railway line to Klaipėda. The Baltic Countries Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are also expected to draw up a joint plan for the coordinated transition to the European standard.