Europe: The Baltic Republics, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are closer than ever. By 2025 they will be integrated into the continental rail infrastructure, thus strengthening the links between these three countries and the rest of the European Union.
The improvement of the connections between the Baltics and the rest of Europe is mainly based on the project aimed at establishing a railway axis to reach Tallinn. This is a major step towards facilitating the free movement of people and goods within the territory of the European Union by helping the economic development of the Baltic and Nordic regions, creating a better environment for strategic investments and development.
The Rail Baltica project will unite Poland, and thus the rest of the continent with Tallinn on a course including all three Baltic states. The project also leaves the open opportunity to reach Helsinki through a submarine tunnel in the following years.
The purpose of the project is to use a single rail system – abandoning the railroad standards of the Soviet era – to link the countries of the former USSR together, currently using a different gauge than that of the standard rail line applied by nearly all the other countries of the European Union
The project is mainly funded by the European Union and is estimated to generate three times as much economic and social benefits as the initial investment sums.
This project will improve the access of the Baltic, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish industries to the Mediterranean markets and vice versa.
The opening of the new intermodal Trieste-Kiel-Göteborg line – operational from the beginning of 2017 – should be further noted, which links the Mediterranean Sea, namely the Adriatic, to the Baltic Sea with a direct freight train running on a weekly basis.
This Adriatic-Baltic corridor is considered to be a continuation of the sea shipping line arriving up to Trieste with the additional benefit of avoiding the circumnavigation of Europe. As a result, Italy is going to be more connected than ever to the Baltic and Nordic regions.