The organisers of Rail Baltica project — joint venture partners Sweco Lietuva UAB (responsible partner) and DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH — have planned four alternative routes for the Rail Baltica railway between Jiesia (Kaunas) and the Lithuanian and Polish border. Trains will be able to travel with the speed up to 249 km/h on this electrified Rail Baltica railway line. The aim is to be able to reach the main cities of the country, as well as airports and Vilnius and Kaunas railway stations, in the shortest possible time, and to facilitate fast and convenient international connections (for example, from Kaunas to Warsaw or Riga).
“Rail Baltica railway project is important for the economy, it will also increase public transport opportunities, significantly improve the military mobility of our country and the entire region and will contribute to the development of environmentally friendly transport. In order to realise the full potential of European railways, we must not only maintain the high quality of the project (train speed, use of the latest technology) but also live up to public expectations, therefore, we call on the public to engage in the ongoing territory planning process and join the dialogue to find the best alternative,” said Loreta Maskaliovienė, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications.
Four alternatives from Kaunas to the Polish border were selected following a strategic environmental impact assessment, which analysed not only environmental but also social and economic factors. The project promoters also carried out an evaluation of all alternatives according to the established criteria and a cost-benefit analysis. After analysing the results obtained and the proposals submitted by the project promoters, the two alternatives that best meet the objectives were deemed to be 3A and 6A.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is currently examining the proposals and questions submitted by the public, and the persons who have submitted inquiries will be provided with a reasoned explanation, with a written response provided within 10 business days from the day of the public debate. Upon completion of the publicity procedure, after answering the questions of the residents and examining all the comments received, the optimal route alternative will be confirmed. Specific, publicly discussed communications infrastructure solutions will then be planned.
Only after that, during the stage of approved solutions, specific plots of land will be formed, on which it is planned to build the Rail Baltica railway line. Owners and users on whose plots of land or neighbouring properties Rail Baltica section is planned to run will receive notifications by registered mail. This will also be announced in the media specified in the legislation.
Back in 2015, Lithuania implemented the first stage of the Rail Baltica project, when a European-gauge railway line was built from the Polish-Lithuanian border to Kaunas.
The total length of the Rail Baltica railway line in the Baltic States will reach 870 km: Lithuania — 392 km, Latvia — 265 km, Estonia — 213 km.