The legislative draft, which is intended to ratify the agreement for the formation of Rail Baltica railway connection in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, was supported unanimously by Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee on June 14.
The goal of the agreement is ensuring effective and quick establishment of European railway line for passenger and cargo transports on a route built as part of the entire European transport network in Baltic States in full accordance with general technical parameters, as stated in Saeima’s report.
In addition, RB Rail chairperson Baiba Runesa emphasized the importance of the agreement for Rail Baltica being ratified in parliaments of all three Baltic States as soon as possible to avoid losing the project’s investments.
“Rail Baltica will allow passenger trains to reach a speed of up to 240 km/h instead of the current 120 km/h and carry cargoes from Tallinn to Poland within two days instead of four,” RB rail board member Kaspars Kokens explains.
Rokens also mentions that Rail Baltica will help considerably reduce environmental pollution. It is expected that the construction of this new railway line will create more than 10,000 jobs in Latvia.
It is expected that the volume of cargoes transported by Rail Baltica in 2030 will reach approximately 13 million tons. This includes part of import and export goods headed to and from Finland, RB Rail business development manager Kaspars Briskens said. At the same time, Rail Baltica will help Latvian exporters reach new markets.
Transport Ministry’s parliamentary secretary Edgars Tavars emphasized that one of Latvia’s biggest hopes for Rail Baltica project was the diversion of cargoes from cargo vehicles to the railway to help relieve road traffic congestion.
During the meeting, RB Rail representatives put a number of concerns voiced by Latvian State Audit to rest. Rubesa noted that large-scale projects, including Rail Baltica, always had risks that have to be addressed, the Saeima reported.
The final reading of the document in the Saeima is scheduled for June 21. (BNN/Business World Magazine)