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EU Grants Additional €1.1 Billion to Rail Baltica for the Construction of the Connecting Europe Facility Railway

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Photo: EU Grants Additional €1.1 Billion to Rail Baltica for the Construction of the Connecting Europe Facility Railway. Source: Rail Baltica
Photo: EU Grants Additional €1.1 Billion to Rail Baltica for the Construction of the Connecting Europe Facility Railway. Source: Rail Baltica

The Baltic countries' joint venture, Rail Baltica, has announced the signing of an additional grant agreement for the financing of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program, totaling €928 million. Combined with the national co-financing from the three Baltic countries, these funds will increase the project's budget to over €1.1 billion, allowing for essential measures in further developing high-speed infrastructure, as stated in the company's announcement.

The agreements have been signed between the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) and RB Rail AS on behalf of the Estonian Ministry of Climate, the Latvian Ministry of Transport, and the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport and Communications. Thanks to these agreements and previous competitions, the global Rail Baltica project has secured funding for construction works covering approximately the first 130 kilometers of the Rail Baltica mainline.

"The allocation of a CEF grant of nearly €930 million gives an additional boost to the realization of Rail Baltica. The global project is entering the main construction phase in all three Baltic countries, so we believe that the beneficiaries will also implement this important European project in a timely manner," said Morten Jensen, head of CINEA.

The allocated finances will be directed toward the construction of railway access routes, civil structures, access roads, and crossings in several sections in Estonia, continuation of construction works on the main project segments in Latvia, construction of railway embankment and its structures in Lithuania (from Kaunas to the Latvian border), and more.

Rail Baltica is a railway project with European standard gauge intended to connect the Baltic States, Eastern (Poland), and Western Europe. According to the project, a unified European gauge will connect Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas, Warsaw, and Berlin, thereby improving connectivity between Central and Eastern Europe.

The main goal of Rail Baltica is to restore direct connectivity of the Baltic countries to the European railway network and promote regional integration. The integration of the Baltic countries' railways into the EU transport network will increase train speed, passenger and freight traffic, and revenues.

All three Baltic countries and Poland have declared the project as one of their priorities in the development of transportation infrastructure.

The decision by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe has designated the Rail Baltica project as part of the pan-European Corridor No. 1, which also includes the road part (Via Baltica).

It is worth noting that, within this project, the longest railway bridge in the Baltic countries will be constructed in Lithuania.

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