RIGA - The first rail-line of the Rail Baltica high-speed rail project should be up and running by 2027, Minister of Transport Talis Linkaits (Conservatives) said on Tuesday at the Rail Baltica Industry Days.
"Rail Baltica is the project of the century for Latvia, and its construction and timely completion is one of Latvia's priorities. The geopolitical situation and the war show how important this project is for the Baltics and the whole of Europe," said the minister, adding that the plan is to carry out the project in stages, so that the first rail-lines start working in 2027.
Linkaits said that construction works have already started both at Riga Central Railway Station and Riga Airport. Also, a contract has been concluded for the construction of the Salaspils Terminal, and next year it is planned to start the construction of the main line in the southern direction, in order to create a connection with Kaunas and further to Poland.
The minister also stated that several amendments to laws have been adopted for the implementation of the project, including a new Rail Baltica Law.
As reported, Rail Baltica is a double track, European standard 1,435 mm gauge electrified railroad for passenger and freight transport to be built from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The overall length of the railroad will be 870 kilometers, with train speeds reaching a maximum of 240 kilometers per hour once it is completed and running.
The initial cost of the project was estimated at EUR 5.8 billion, with a portion of the costs being financed through EU funds. The Rail Baltica project will be gradually put into operation in stages between 2026 to 2030.