Rail Baltica «biggest project of last 100 years»

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The second day of the Rail Baltica Global Forum got under way in Riga April 25 with the project being described as "the biggest project in the Baltics in the last 100 years," by Edvins Berzins, the chairman of Latvian Railways.

Berzins said the construction of Rail Baltica "has both a symbolic and rational meaning."

"It is an opportunity for suppliers and businesses from the Baltics, the EU and international community," Berzins said, adding that almost 500 participants had "expressed their interest in the procurement processes of Rail Baltica."

In Latvia alone, up to seven new industrial zones would be created along the route and links to airports at Kaunas, Riga and Tallinn would create an integrated transport network that is currently lacking. 

Berzins also talked up hopes that with European gauge railways meeting Eurasian gauge railways in the region, two networks would effectively be merged into one.

On whether Poland and Finland would officially become part of the project he said: "everybody hopes it will happen in the very near future."

Companies interested in becoming suppliers were warned by RB Rail's Kaspars Rokens that: "We will have zero tolerance to bribery corruption and cartels."Corruption and conflict of interest have no place in this," he insisted adding that oversight of the project would include the possibility of snap inspections or "dawn raids" without prior notice.





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