Latvia registers Rail Baltica enterprise

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Latvia founded its state-owned enterprise Eiropas dzelzceļa līnijas (European Rail Lines) on Wednesday, which will be charged with implementing its segment of the high-speed Rail Baltica transportation project, the Transport Ministry announced Friday.

The newly-registered company will be owned 100% by the state, with founding capital assets set at €680,000.

The Latvian government’s firm will then become a shareholder in the joint Baltic company, investing about €630,000 into the combined enterprise. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will each hold a 33.33% share in the Rail Baltica firm.

When complete - which according to the plan will be "by 2025", travel times between the Baltic capitals should be slashed, and further links in neighboring countries should eventually make it possible to travel from Berlin to Tallinn by rail, with the option of going on to Helsinki by ferry.

The Baltic states' railway networks are currently of limited size and based on Russian-gauge tracks and mainly outdated Soviet-era rolling stock and infrastructure.

Rail Baltica is among 30 priority transport projects identified by the European Union.

Completion of the project, projected for 2025, is expected to cost 3.7 billion euros.

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