Rail Baltica high-speed line clears another environmental assessment
Another Estonian section of the planned Rail Baltica project has been given the green light. The compliance of the environmental impact assessment of the fifth out of a total of eight sections was recently confirmed by the Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA). This means that almost half of the high-speed line through Estonia is in accordance with regulations, Rail Baltica announced this week.
The Rail Baltica project envisions the construction of a high-speed line across the Baltic States to connect Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with the European rail infrastructure via Poland. The new section of the Estonian infrastructure that was given the green light is the 39.3-kilometer stretch from Hagudi to the border of Rapla and Pärnu.
A 16-kilometer section from the border of Rapla and Pärnu counties to Tootsi recently also underwent an environmental impact assessment. In this area in particular, the developers had to pay attention to major green areas. For this reason, three viaducts for wildlife will be constructed in the coming years. Water management was another key element of the recent assessment, as the construction of embankments and ditches may affect the nearby Taarikõnnu nature reserve.
Once completed, the 870-kilometre-long, 5.8-billion euro Rail Baltica line will be a vital link in the North Sea – Baltic Sea Corridor of the European TEN-T network. While the Baltic have a different gauge national rail network, Rail Baltica will be in European standard gauge. The double track railway will allow freight trains to travel at a maximum speed of 120 kilometres per hour. High-speed passenger trains will hit 250 kilometres per hour.
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