We are committed to completing the main Rail Baltica rail line from Riga to Lithuania by 2026 - Linkaits

  • 2021-11-25
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia is committed to completing the main line of the railway project Rail Baltica from Riga to Lithuania by 2026, Minister of Transport Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) said today at the Rail Baltica Industry Day.

The Minister stated that Rail Baltica is the project of the century in Latvia, and the railway line will provide the missing section for the TEN-T corridor. Rail Baltica will also be part of the unified European railway network.

Linkaits emphasized that Latvia is committed to completing the Rail Baltica project as soon as possible, but no later than 2030. He pointed out that it is definitely planned to complete the baseline to the Lithuanian border by 2026.

The Minister said that in 2023 it is planned to complete the design phase of the main route and start construction in the southern direction in order to establish a cross-border connection with Kaunas. He said it would be followed by construction towards Estonia with the aim of completing the Rail Baltica connection by 2030.

Agnis Driksna, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of RB Rail, said that the goal now is to complete all preparations in 2022-2024 so that the entire Rail Baltica main route is ready for construction. In turn, in 2026-2030, it is planned that trains will be able to start running on the sections of the route.

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.

It was initially planned that the rail line would be up and running in 2026, but current projections show that it will be fully functioning only around 2030. However, some sections of the rail line could be up and running much sooner than in 2030.