According to the initial schedule for the planned Rail Baltica railway, which is expected to be completed by 2026, high-speed trains will depart Tallinn for points south four times per day, reaching Central Riga in one hour and 42 minutes at a cost of €38 per ticket.
Once the railway has been completed, the number of departures is projected to increase from four to six within the first ten years of operation, allowing passengers to travel from Tallinn and Pärnu to Riga as well as Lithuania and Poland approximately every two hours during the day, Rail Baltic Estonia announced on Thursday.
In order to determine the stations and hubs along the route as well as how many platforms and bypasses would be needed, RB Rail AS commissioned an initial railway schedule.
The initial schedule foresees regional trains traveling at speeds of up to 200 kph alongside high-speed trains traveling at speeds of up to 249 kph. Rail Baltica is also interested in operating at least one auto and overnight train per day toward Warsaw and Berlin.
“The popularity of overnight trains is on the rise again in Europe, because people prefer the combination offered by the speed of rail travel and the convenience of one’s own car when vacationing,” Rail Baltic Estonia CEO Riia Sillave said. “Estonians are no strangers to car tourism with the entire family either, and it is these people who would enjoy reaching Warsaw from Tallinn by morning via overnight train rather than spending 13-14 hours on roads clogged by tractor trailers.”
The final schedule, of course, will depend on demand, and thus the rail operator’s decisions.
Currently, seven of a total of 11 procurements for detailed technical designs for Rail Baltica have already been launched, accounting for 57 percent of Rail Baltica’s route, including 100 percent of the route on Estonian soil, from Tallinn all the way to the Estonian-Latvian border.
Falling under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ is tasked primarily with realizing the Rail Baltica high-speed railway project as well as fulfilling various related administrative and technical tasks in Estonia. Rail Baltic Estonia likewise represents Estonia’s interests in the joint venture RB Rail AS.