There is enough money to continue the works started in the Rail Baltica railway project, and the works in the vicinity of Iecava will start this year, Kaspars Vingris, Chairman of the Board of Eiropas Dzelzcela Linijas (EDzL), responsible for the construction of Rail Baltica in Latvia, told LETA in an interview.
“There is enough money to continue the works that have been started. This is very important, because there was a time when there was much less confidence in maintaining the pace of construction. Now we can confidently say that there is enough money to complete the work that has now started at the Riga Central Railway Station – the supporting structures, platforms and the base for the tracks in the existing construction zone on the southern side,” said Vingris.
At the same time, however, he noted that there is currently a slight shortfall in funds to complete everything to a functional extent and to switch over the railway traffic in the current construction lane, closing the northernside of the station for construction work, where trains currently run.
At the same time, however, Vingris stressed that he was not pessimistic about the situation, as a funding application to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) was currently being prepared and there were hopes of obtaining funds to fully complete the southern part of Riga Central Railway Station.
Vingris also pointed out that the pace of work on the Riga Central Railway Station section is close to what it should be. “If until now we said that the works are going on but they could go faster, then when this construction season is over and in the winter until the next construction season starts, we will work at a very confident pace,” said Vingris.
He stressed that the cash allocation just received also includes funds to start the construction of a bridge on the right bank of the Daugava. “This is important because it has to be done in conjunction with the construction works that are now underway,” he said.
Vingris also noted that the most important news regarding the funding just granted is that there are funds for the construction of the main route also outside Riga, allowing the start of construction works for about 13 kilometers in the Iecava area.
As reported, Rail Baltica is a double track, European standard 1,435 mm gauge electrified railroad for passenger and freight transport to be built from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The overall length of the railroad will be 870 kilometers, with train speeds reaching a maximum of 240 kilometers per hour once it is completed and running.
The initial cost of the project was estimated at EUR 5.8 billion, with a portion of the costs being financed through EU funds. However, the sides involved in the project have emphasized on several occasions that the project’s costs have risen considerably. The Rail Baltica project will be gradually put into operation in stages between 2028 and 2030.
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