A few days ago, an agreement was signed for the construction of the Rail Baltica railway line in Latvia. Construction work is set to commence in 2024, with an estimated duration of 8 years. Under the contract, the ERB RAIL consortium, consisting of French company Eiffage Génie Civil, Polish company Budimex, and Italian company Rizzani de Eccher, will be responsible for building a 230-kilometer high-speed rail line.
The primary objective of this project is to connect the Baltic countries to the European railway network by creating an efficient connection between Tallinn and Warsaw.
Budimex will be responsible for the construction of civil engineering structures and tracks for approximately 230 kilometers of the new high-speed Rail Baltica line in Latvia. The contract, covering 175 engineering structures and 11 wildlife crossings, is estimated to be worth 3.7 billion euros.
The financing of this project is based on two main sources. 85% of the project costs will be covered by the European “Connecting Europe” fund, while the remaining 15% will come from the budget of the Republic of Latvia.
“The signing of this agreement and Budimex’s participation in the consortium, implementing one of the largest EU railway projects, is a significant success for the Polish construction industry. It is also a success for our country, Poland, as it will be the general contractor for the largest infrastructure investment in Latvia with a total value exceeding 16 billion PLN. It will also be a high-speed line, which is the highest railway standard in Europe. We have been working on this contract as a consortium for over 2 years, in collaboration with leading entities from the European Union market: Eiffage Genie Civil and Rizzani de Eccher,” says Artur Popko, CEO of Budimex.
Rail Baltica is a project implemented as part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and is one of the most important new railway infrastructure projects in Europe. The goal of this investment, which includes Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and indirectly Finland, is to accelerate the integration of these regions with the European Union and increase trade exchange between these countries.
An essential aspect of the investment is its impact on the environment. The construction of a new railway line aims to provide an alternative to road transport, contributing to a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
The speed at which trains will travel on the section connecting cities such as Tallinn, Parnu, Riga, Panevezys, Kaunas, Vilnius, and Warsaw is expected to be 249 km/h for passenger transport and 120 km/h for freight trains. As a result, Rail Baltica aims to contribute to more efficient and sustainable transportation, supporting regional development and European cooperation.
The tender for the construction of the Latvian section of Rail Baltica was announced in 2021 and was a two-stage process. In February 2022, six consortia submitted prequalification applications. The final selection of the contractor was made in September 2023.