German President checks up on Rail Baltica progress

Take note – story published 2 years ago

February 16 saw German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Latvian President Egils Levits visiting the construction site of the Rail Baltica Central Hub in Riga at Riga Central Station.

During the visit, Agnis Driksna, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail AS and Burhan Erkan, Executive Director, Baltic States, at DB Engineering & Consulting addressed them.

“Our meeting here today at the future site of the Rail Baltica Central Hub at Riga Central Station, marks the start of the next stage of the Rail Baltica project – full-scale construction phase in all three Baltic countries. Over 200 Baltic companies along with 50 companies from other EU countries, including seven from Germany, are currently working with us to make this project a reality,” said Driksna, noting that “Germany is a
strategic partner in all aspects of implementing the Rail Baltica project - both in providing the physical infrastructure, as well as through major investment and business development opportunities to prepare for the planned commercial operation phase.”

Rail Baltica has established partnerships with seven German companies through open procurement, including Deutsche Bahn, TUV Sud, Obermeyer, Railistics, RMCon, PTV, Gauff Solutions and others, as well as long-term strategic relationships with the German Railway Industry Association (VDB), German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce (AHK), and Logistics Alliance Germany.

Rail Baltica construction site in Rīga
Rail Baltica construction site in Rīga

Due to its European strategic importance, the Rail Baltica project is receiving considerable support from the European Union, with up to 85% of financing granted through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program. This project will close the gap on the North Sea – Baltic TENT-T Corridor to connect Baltic states with Europe and will provide modern high-speed railway transport infrastructure along with improved connectivity, mobility, defence, and wider socio-economic benefits for the region.

Hopefully one day in the not-too-distant future it will again be possible to catch train from Rīga to Berlin, as in the days of the famous Nord-Express. However, for now air remains the travel mode of choice for the presidents, who are flying back to Germany for the Munich Security Conference.

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