Rail Baltic is an international rail connection that will connect Estonia with Central and Western Europe and its neighbours. Rail Baltic is one of the biggest investments in the years to come in improving the travel opportunities of Estonian people as well as developing business and trade, tourism and the exchange of goods. The railway route ensures speeds of up to 240 km/h and provides the opportunity to travel comfortably and quickly to Latvia and Lithuania and onwards to Central Europe and further.
Developing rail traffic is an essential priority both for Europe and for us. Modern rail traffic is environmentally friendly and one of the most stable and safest means of transport, and also contributes highly to sustainable transport and energy-saving travel opportunities.
Rail Baltic is an international project that connects the three Baltic States; whereas Finland and Poland are involved as partners. Creating a joint venture and receiving co-financing from the European Union is required to carry out the project.
The Rail Baltic project is managed by a broad-based Management Committee and a working group that includes Pärnu, Rapla and Harju County Governors, representatives of county governments and the representatives of Estonian Railways, the Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Land Board, Estonian Technical Surveillance Authority and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
The partner for preparing county plans and conducting preliminary design in relation to the Rail Baltic railway route is an Estonian company Reaalprojekt, chosen on the basis of a public procurement. Reaalprojekt is performing the work in cooperation with its partners Hendrikson & Ko OÜ, EA Reng AS and Kelprojektas UAB.
The plans and preliminary design documentation required for construction will be finalised in the next few years and determine the location of the new railway route. With the existence of co-financing by the European Union, preparations for construction work will be continued, and the work could begin in 2017-2018. One of the objectives of construction work is to get as much built as possible by 2022.
- On 28 October, Urve Palo, the Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, Anrijs Matiss, the Latvian Minister of Transport and Rimantas Sinkevicius, the Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications signed an agreement, founding the Rail Baltic joint venture of the three Baltic States, called RB Rail. The principal activities of the venture are designing and building the railway route and overseeing the international marketing thereof.
- On 3 November 2014, Urve Palo, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, signed the foundation documents of the Rail Baltic Estonia holding company. Indrek Orav will commence work as a Member of the Management Board of the company and Anti Moppel, Agris Peedu and Illar Kaasik will commence work as Members of the Supervisory Board.
- On 21 August 2014, the Government of the Republic authorised Urve Palo, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, to establish the Rail Baltic Estonia holding company and acquire 1/3 holding in the Rail Baltic international joint venture.
- The fundamental choice of the route running from Tallinn via Pärnu has been provided in the Resolution of the Government of the Republic dated 22.09.2011, approving the National Plan Estonia 2030+. The resolution was preceded by public debate and consultations with related parties and experts.
- The joint declaration adopted by the Prime Ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on 10 November 2011 set the objective of creating the new Rail Baltic railway route with a track gauge of 1435 mm and founding a joint venture for the later management thereof.