First request for Rail Baltic funds from EU submitted
The three Baltic nations have submitted a funding request to the EU to get the Rail Baltic high-speed rail project rolling.
The combined cost of the first round is 540 million euros, of which the EU could cover 442 million. The money will be used to complete studies, draw up detailed plans for the track and other infrastructure, buy up land under the planned track and begin the first phase of construction.
“The request was submitted jointly by four parties – the Rail Baltic joint venture, and the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian states,” Miiko Peris, the head of Estonia's part of the project, said, adding that official approval documents from Poland and Finland were also sent to the European Commission as part of the request.
Estonia also sent in a request for funding to merge the Rail Baltic infrastructure with Tallinn's transport network, including extending the tram lines to Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport on the edge of the city.
The European Commission's answer is expected to arrive in the fall.
Management board chairman of the joint venture Antti Moppel, told ETV that a new viability study will be undertaken first, and should be complete by the end of 2016.
Peris said the exact route of the track is still in the air in Harju County and the proposed track runs over more than 600 properties.
The total cost of the project is expected to come to around 1.3 billion euros in Estonia alone.