RB Rail, the joint venture established to progress the core section of the Rail Baltica project through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, has announced an open tender to determine the design specification for the route.
Through the ‘Design Guidelines’ competition, RB Rail will draw up the engineering standards that will be adopted throughout the project’s design and construction phase.
The deadline for submissions is March 3.
Rail Baltica forms part of the TEN-T North Sea-Baltic corridor linking Helsinki and Berlin, via Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
The main aim is to improve rail connectivity between the Baltic states and the rest of Europe – an ambition which poses a significant technical challenge.
The biggest hurdle will be the incompatibility between the standard gauge (1435 mm) double-track railway proposed for Rail Baltica and the Russian-gauge (1520 mm) networks found throughout the Baltic region.
The full length of the line, which is being co-financed by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), will be more than 700 km and will include stations in Tallinn, Parnu, Riga, Panevezys and Kaunas.
Part of the route, called Rail Baltica I, between Kaunas and the Polish border opened in 2015. Despite its name, the line will have to undergo extensive modifications before it meets the design specification of the main route. For example, Rail Baltica I is not electrified and only has a maximum design speed of 160 km/h, compared to the 240 km/h defined for the corridor.