Land purchasing procedures and technical designs for the Rail Baltica European-gauge railway project are planned to be completed in 2023, a senior executive of the Lithuanian state railway company said on Wednesday.
“All land purchases and technical designing work will be finished in 2023,” Arenijus Jackus, director of the Rail Baltica Coordination Department at Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), said at a news conference in Tallinn.
“What will remain for the period between 2023 and 2025 will be railway construction works,” he added.
Ignas Degutis, acting CEO of RB Rail, a Baltic joint venture that coordinates the Rail Baltica implementation, said 53 bids have been received in technical design procurement procedures, with 500 kilometers of tracks, accounting for around 57 percent of the entire railway line, to be designed at this stage.
The total cost of Rail Baltica in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is estimated at around EUR 5.8 billion. Some EUR 2.5 billion are to be invested in Lithuania alone, with 85 percent of the money expected to come from the EU.
Passenger trains will be able to reach speeds of 249 km/h on the line and freight trains will be able to travel at up to 120 km/h.
The construction of Rail Baltica from Lithuania’s border with Poland up to Tallinn is planned to be finished in 2025, with the railway to become operational in 2026.