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Finland-Estonia Link rail tunnel feasibility study recommends PPP [free access]

February 7, 2018

The feasibility study of the Finland-Estonia (FinEst) Link, a proposed rail tunnel to connect Helsinki and Tallinn, has estimated an investment requirement of EUR13-20 billion and a construction period of 15 years. The project uses an average value of EUR16 billion (excluding rolling stock).


The tunnel alignment will span 103 km, which will be the longest undersea railway tunnel in the world. Construction is expected to begin by 2025 and revenue service by 2040.


The consultants who participated in the feasibility study include Amberg Engineering, Sweco Finland, WSP, Ramboll Finland, Sito, Pöyry, Strafica, Kaupunkitutkimus TA, Inspira and Rebel Group.


The FinEst Link project is part-funded by the Central Baltic Program. It is led by Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council in the partnership with Cities of Helsinki and Tallinn, Harju County, Finnish Transport Agency and the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communications.


The report suggests that the tunnel project could be economically feasible by using a public-private partnership (PPP) model, in which the private sector finances construction and a European Union (EU) grant covers 40 per cent of the cost. The subsidy from Finland and Estonia for train operations is estimated around EUR280 million per year for 40 years.


The tunnel will have a travel time of 30 minutes and service frequency of 20 minutes during peak hours. The trains will operate at 200 km/hr. The tracks will be mostly standard gauge (1,435 mm) but the part which connects with the planned Airport Line in Helsinki will have both standard gauge and Russian gauge (1,524 mm) tracks.


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