Ministers sign Rail Baltica 2 agreement

Take note – story published 9 years ago

The Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian transportation ministers signed the agreement marking the Baltic states’ mutual commitment to establishing the joint railways development project Rail Baltica 2 Tuesday in Riga.

This is one of the long-awaited first steps toward making the ambitious €4bln project a reality.

Another ten years will go by before the train ride from Tallinn to Riga will take less than two hours, and passengers from Riga will be able to reach other western European nations by rail.

Latvia’s Transport Minister Anriijs Matiss pointed out the growing significance of the project for all three countries.

“We’ve had lots of internal political discussions about whether this is necessary and justified, what it will bring to our state economy,” he said in his address to the neighboring country counterparts.

On his part Lithuanian Transport Minister Rimantas Sinkevicius said that the inclusion of the extra Vilnius spur would benefit the project as a whole.

As reported, the Rail Baltica project calls for the building of a new European-standard railway line linking the Baltic capitals. Altogether the three nations are expected to spend about 3.68bln on the job, with Latvia contributing 1.27bln while the European Commission could co-finance 85% of the costs.

Construction is planned to commence in the year 2016.

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