CZ/SK verze

Rail Baltica: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Rail Baltica: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia
photo: https://www.seanews.com.tr/eu-provides-funding-for-ten-t-programme/92727//TEN-T
20 / 04 / 2021

The initial concept of creating a rail corridor through the Baltic States appeared and was presented in 1990s, as part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) project. It was to have high technical parameters and a link to the European high-speed railway network. After the accession of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland to the European Union, the project gained importance as a tool to facilitate European Union integration and was included in the TEN-T Regulation as well as in the North Sea – Baltic Priority Corridor. The line is shown in Figure II-29 below.

Rail Baltica as TEN-T passenger and freight core network

Source: EU Reg. 1315/2013

 

The feasibility study of the line was completed in 2011, complemented by an additional feasibility study of the Kaunas – Vilnius line in 2014, which also connects to the airports of the cities.

Technical parameters of the new line

Rail Baltica was assumed to have a maximum speed of no more than 250 km/h for passenger trains and 120 km/h for freight trains (prevailing on this line). Basic technical information is included in the table below.

Technical parameters of the Rail Baltica

Source: Rail Baltica Global Project Cost-Benefit Analysis, Executive summary. Ernst & Young, 24 April 2017.

 

Multimodality

It is assumed that the new line will be integrated into the transport structure of the Baltic States. There will be a variety of connections to the airports and road network, the system of new and rebuilt stations will facilitate access to the rail service. The construction of 3 large transhipment terminals is expected for freight transport in:

-       Muuga in Estonia

-       Salaspils in Latvia

-       Kaunas in Lithuania

The new line will allow for interchange to the existing 1520 mm rail network at the main stations. In the Baltic States, there are five seaports connected to the rail network, including Riga and Tallinn, which are expected to be directly integrated into the new line. The Klaipeda Seaport will be a transhipment point for transport from the East to Scandinavia, including Ukraine and Black Sea region, through the Viking Corridor, which was electrified in 2017.

Rail Baltica is planned to have 7 passenger train stations: Tallinn, Parnu, Central Riga, Riga Airport (RIX), Panevėžys, Kaunas, and Vilnius, which will be reconstructed from scratch. The railway node in Riga will be rebuilt and a number of airport links will be added as per the figure below. Coonectivity will be further improved following the completion of the undersea line between.

Rail Baltica connection to other modes of transport

Source: Bedmar J.-M., Operational Plan: an ambitious transport plan on the service of Baltic and European citizens, Rail Baltica Forum, 3-4 April 2019, Vilnius, presentation of Rail Baltica Forum, Vilnius 3-4, April 2019.

Operational plan of the line

Various categories of trains will use the line:

-       High-speed trains serving 7 international stations in Baltic States along the route at least every 2 hours

-       Night trains – 2 connections: Tallinn – Warsaw/Berlin, Vilnius – Warsaw – Vienna, are planned with a maximum speed of 200 km/h;

-       Regional trains – maximum speed of 200 km/h – to serve stations of one or two States, 9 routes, and 36 regional stations (selected on the basics of the study);

-       Freight trains – maximum speed of 120 km/h, estimated at 2 trains per hour in each direction for any traffic flows.

Operational Plan of Rail Baltica

Source: Bedmar J.-M., Operational Plan: an ambitious transport plan on the service of Baltic and European citizens, Rail Baltica Forum, 3-4 April 2019, Vilnius, presentation of Rail Baltica Forum, Vilnius 3-4, April 2019.

Rail Baltica to the 1520 network

Source: Bedmar J.-M., Operational Plan: an ambitious transport plan on the service of Baltic and European citizens, Rail Baltica Forum, 3-4 April 2019, Vilnius, presentation of Rail Baltica Forum, Vilnius 3-4, April 2019.

 
Forecasts and operational metrics

Traffic on Rail Baltica is expected to be be between 4.7 million and 7.1 million passengers in 2055 (12.8k to 19.5k per day).

The three flows are expected on Rail Baltica:

-       “point-to-point” transit between adjacent stations (direct journeys, for example passengers from Tallinn to Pärnu);

-       Journeys in the Baltic States area (passengers travelling within the borders of 3 Baltic States);

-       Journeys outside the Baltic States (passengers from external States, for example Warsaw – Kaunas).

Point-to-point journeys are mostly expected between the Riga international airport (RIX) and the Riga multimodal public transport hub. Figure II-42 provides an analysis the Rail Baltica’s projected traffic flows in 2035. Upon hitting the full potential of the market, the busiest sections of Rail Baltica will be Panevėžys – Kaunas, Kaunas – Vilnius and Riga (Airport) – Panevėžys.

The highest external passenger flows will occur on the border of Kaunas – LT/PL, which means that majority of transit passengers will travel from/to the south between Lithuania and Poland.

Base case. Rail Baltica passenger flow breakdown per main sections, thousand PAX in 2035

Source: Rail Baltica Global Project Cost-Benefit Analysis, Executive summary. Ernst&Young, 24 April 2017.

 

The figure above shows the expected number of passengers on the specific sections of the line. Forecasted travel time is presented in table below.

 

Forecasted travel time

Source: Bedmar J.-M., Operational Plan: an ambitious transport plan on the service of Baltic and European citizens, Rail Baltica Forum, 3-4 April 2019, Vilnius, presentation of Rail Baltica Forum, Vilnius 3-4, April 2019.

 

Freight transport in the first year of service is expected to be between 12 million tonnes and 18 million tonnes. In 2055, freight is estimated at 20 - 25 million tonnes according to the national splits set out in Figure II-35. Freight transport will account for 53% of all traffic. Transport to Poland and Germany will account for 10 - 12% of all freight on the line.

Freight flow forecasts (million tonnes)

Source: Rail Baltica Global Project Cost-Benefit Analysis, Executive summary. Ernst&Young, 24 April 2017.

 The figure above shows the expected number of passengers on the specific sections of the line. Forecasted travel time is presented in table below.

Financing

The total cost of the Rail Baltica line has been estimated at EUR 5.788 billion (EUR 6.652 million per  km), maintenance and operating costs in 2030 will be EUR 70.7 million (EUR 81k per km), including technical maintenance costs amounting to EUR 58.9 million (EUR 67.7k per km).

The costs of the undersea section of Rail Baltica, currently under review, connecting Tallinn and Helsinki, is estimated at EUR 15 billion.

The international nature of Rail Baltica allows most of investment costs to be funded by European Union, including funding for the development of Trans-European Transport Network and dedicated resources for the new Member States of the European Union (up to 85%).

 

Rail Baltica investment costs in mln EUR, by segments

 

Source: Rail Baltica Global Project Cost-Benefit Analysis, Executive summary. Ernst&Young, 24 April 2017.

 

Rail Baltica will be a key driver for the further economic growth in Baltic States, both during development (by creating jobs and having an impact on GDP growth of the region, through the direct, intermediate and induced effects of the infrastructural investment), and in operational phase. These include, increased access to the Baltic market, improved competitiveness and investment attractiveness and the support to constant growth of efficiency and competitiveness of the Baltic logistics and transport sector will contribute to further economic growth in the region. In the studies carried out to date, the project benefits have been estimated at EUR 16.2 billion. These economic benefits are summarised in Table below. It is also estimated that there will be a 38% reduction in air pollution and a significant reduction in road fatalities on the parallel network.

 

Economic indicators


 Source: Rail Baltica Global Project Cost-Benefit Analysis, Executive summary. Ernst&Young, 24 April 2017.

The project is planned to be completed by 2026 as per the timeline set out in the picture below.

Project financing in particular stages

Source: Degutis I., Rail Baltica: The Future of European Flagship Infrastructure. Project Financing, Rail Baltica Forum, 3-4 April 2019, Vilnius.

 

The project of the undersea tunnel connecting Tallinn and Helsinki has also been included in the concept of Rail Baltica. The construction of a rail link tunnel with a journey time of 30 minutes was recommended in February 2015, as a result of the TalsinkiFix study. The length of the tunnel would be 92 km and total length of the new line would be 107.4 km.

The European Union has allocated EUR 3.1 million to the feasibility study. Construction of the tunnel would facilitate connectivity between the cities, currently served by ferry services with 2.5-hour travel time (during summer season 1h40 min). Every year, 8 million journeys are made by sea, including both touristic trips and local commuter services.


 

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