The Prime Minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevicius, says that construction of Rail Baltica's European-standard gauge to the city of Kaunas is going smoothly and the new railway line should reach the city this autumn.
"I expect the European-standard gauge to be completed on time so that this line will reach Kaunas by the autumn. More than 90 percent of the scheduled tasks have been already completed," the PM told the radio station LRT.
The prime minister noted that the new railway line means not only new investments in the region but also new jobs, improved competitiveness and greater national security.
"From economic perspective, Rail Baltica will allow us to attract more investment, and cargo and passenger flows will increase, which will promote economic growth and create new jobs in the region. However, another aspect is equally important - the national security issue. We will be united with the EU's European gauge railway, we will become a part of the most important European transportation corridor," Butkevicius said.
The cost of construction of the railway from the Polish border to Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest city, will be 380 million euros, while the entire European-standard gauge line, which will continue from Lithuania through Riga to Tallinn will cost between 3.7 billion and 5.2 billion euros. The section from the Polish border to Tallinn is expected to be completed by 2024.