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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 24.03.2019, 21:58

Estonia: EUR 431 mln to be invested in railway infrastructure over 6 yrs

BC, Tallinn, 22.02.2019.Print version
The Estonian government on Thursday approved the railway infrastructure funding action plan for 2019-2024, according to which 431 mln euros is to be invested in the existing railway network, reported LETA/BNS.

According to Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson, the action plan provides certainty for the future for railway managers, carriers as well as passengers, government spokespeople said.


"Our goal is not just to maintain the quality of today's infrastructure, but every year we should take a step further toward improvement," the minister said. "On one hand, it is important to raise the speed for passenger trains, on the other, make railway crossings safer for both cars and pedestrians," Simson added.


More significant investments include raising the speed of the Tallinn-Tartu and Tapa-Narva railway and building the Riisipere-Turba railway, which have already received the funding decision. "The construction of the Riisipere-Turba railway section is underway already today and if the section in question proves itself, we must also deliberate extending the railway," Simson said.


The plan of investments also entails major repairs of the West-Harju routes, updates to the traffic control systems, reconstruction of the plant for transforming and carrying electric power for train haulage, repairs of 30 railway crossings, the reconstruction of the Lelle-Turi railway section, updates to communications and security systems, reconstruction of the Rapla-Lelle railway, repairs to the Liiva, Kiisa and Kohila stations and the reconstruction of the Tallinn-Vaike-Liiva railway.


In addition, the action plan also highlights projects aimed toward the future but currently either without funding or a funding decision, like increasing the railway infrastructure capacity of the Tallinn-Rapla section, renovation and opening to train traffic of the Turba-Haapsalu-Rohukula railway, Tallinn ring railway, Valga-Koidula railway, the electrification of the railway network and raising the speeds of the Tallinn-Tartu and Tallinn-Narva railway sections to up to 160 kilometers per hour.


According to the action plan, the infrastructure investments of the state-owned railway infrastructure company Estonian Railways (Eesti Raudtee) make up 402 mln euros and the investments of privately-owned train operator Edelaraudtee 29 mln euros. The support planned from the state budget is 162 mln euros and the funding from the European Union's Cohesion Fund and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is to be 54 mln euros.


The action plan assumes an annual increase of 5.5% in freight volume from the 2018 level of 13.5 mln tons until the year 2024.






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