Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Finland and Estonia considering undersea rail tunnel link

Finland and Estonia are to explore the possibility of building an undersea rail tunnel linking the capitals of Helsinki and Tallinn.

During a meeting on January 5, government officials from both countries committed to further investigating the project.

FinEst Link, as it has been dubbed, would form part of the North Sea–Baltic Corridor –  one of the European Union’s Core Network Corridors. It would also link Helsinki to Rail Baltica –  a new standard-gauge line connecting Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas, Warsaw and Berlin.

In a statement, the City of Helsinki said a new rail link would create better transport links for the many Estonians who already commute into Helsinki.

“Today Helsinki and Tallinn almost constitute one labour market area. It is estimated that the Helsinki region employs tens of thousands of Estonians, many of whom commute between the cities weekly on fast ferries.”

A pre-feasibility study published in 2015 by the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn, the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and the Harju County Government suggested that the tunnel’s construction would be economically viable.

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