On 24 April 2017, a new Cost – Benefit analysis on the Rail Baltica project has been presented; according to this analysis, the project could reduce travel times and carbon footprint and increase exports to the whole region. The Ministers for Transport of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Vice-Minister of Poland confirmed during the Forum their commitment to the realisation of the project, agreeing it is time to move forward with its implementation.
The Rail Baltica project provides for a European standard gauge railway between Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Warsaw (Poland), and it is the most important project of the North Sea-Baltic Corridor, one of the projects of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T). The Corridor connects the ports of the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea with the ports of the North Sea, and in particular will link Finland with Estonia by ferry, provide modern road and rail transport links between the three Baltic States on the one hand and Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium on the other. With the current progress made in planning, management and financing, the European Union expects the project to be operational within ten years.
Catherine Trautmann, the European Coordinator for the North Sea-Baltic Corridor said:
“Cross-border projects generate benefits that no country could generate on its own, that is why the EU supports them so strongly. I am glad to see that the costs for the infrastructure are under control. The total investment of 5.8 billion EUR is foreseen in the Work Plan of the North Sea-Baltic Corridor.”