The first train to cross the Polish border into Lithuania in 76 years!

Today (27th August 2015)saw the first train to cross the Polish border into Lithuania…the first in 76 years!! A Polish DMU carried a delegation including Catherine Trautmann MEP, European coordinator for the TEN-T North Sea-Baltic Corridor, on the first completed section of the Rail Baltica standard-gauge line from the Polish border to Lithuania’s second city Kaunas…..

Here are some important facts regarding this project:

Facts about Rail Baltica. (Courtesy RailBaltica)

  • The goal of the project Rail Baltica is to integrate the Baltic States in the European rail network and to include the four European Union countries – Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and indirectly also Finland – in it by prolonging the connection Tallinn-Helsinki.
  • The project intends to build a new 1435 mm width European standard railway line in the Baltic States and to connect such metropoles as Tallinn – Riga – Kaunas – Warsaw – Berlin and later also Venice, which the passengers and cargo are going to reach with a fast, modern and environmentally friendly railway transport.
  • The length of the newly built track route will be 728 km of which 235 will be in Latvia, 229 km in Estonia and 264 km in Lithuania.
  • The average speed of the passenger trains will be 170 km/h, for cargo trains 68 km/h.
  • The time on the route from Tallinn to the boarder of Lithuania and Poland will be 4.1 h for the passenger trains and 10.4 h for the cargo trains.
  • Investment: 3.68 billion euro of which 1.27 bn is planned to be invested in Latvia. The support from the European Union is estimated to be up to 85% of the project costs.
  • In 2020 it is planned to start the building process.
  • In 2024 it is planned to finish the new railway line in the territory of the Baltic States.
  • In 2025 it is intended to open the connection Tallinn – Riga – Kaunas but in 2030 – the connection to Warsaw.
  • In 2030 it is planned to carry 5 million passengers and 13 million tons of cargo.
  • In 2040 income of 319 million euro is planned.