Lithuanian Railways gears up for Rail Baltica development

  • 2019-05-12
  • LETA/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania's state-run railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LG) is getting ready for further construction of the European standard-gauge railway Rail Baltica. Preparatory works involve the modernization of the section from the Lithuanian-Polish border to Kaunas (Jiesia), the development of the Kaunas railway node and the construction of depots for infrastructure maintenance.

LG consulted with market participants this week, and later will call tenders for infrastructure development plans and environmental assessment.

"Land will be needed for further implementation of the Rail Baltica project. For us to be able to buy that land from residents, we need the so-called special plans, territorial planning documents," Arenijus Jackus, director of LG's Rail Baltica Coordination Department, told BNS Lithuania.

The 370 million euro section from the Polish border to Kaunas was launched in late 2015 but now the railway does not meet the existing Rail Baltica parameters as trains should be able to reach speeds of up to 249 km/h one this section, and now they can reach only 120 km/h. The planners will have to decide whether to straighten the track or build a new line.

In April, LG called a tender for drafting a plan for the Kaunas-Vilnius line.

Currently, Rail Baltica-related work is underway on the Kaunas-Palemonas section. This line will be reconstructed by a consortium of Hidrostatyba, Autokausta and Leonhard Weiss RTE by 2021 for 54.762 million euros. Besides the railway, two car tunnels and a viaduct will be built and noise barriers etc. will be installed.

The construction of the section from Palemonas to Rokai will start in the fall but the contractor has not been confirmed yet and the tender value has not been disclosed.

Rail Baltica should connect Tallinn, Parnu, Riga, Panevezys, Kaunas, Vilnius and Warsaw by 2026.