“The Rail Baltica Global Project will create opportunities for people in the region to increase their welfare from the design and construction phases of the project,” said Timo Riihimäki, CEO and Chairperson of the Management Board of RB Rail AS, addressing the Rail Baltica Global Forum participants on 3 April in Vilnius. “In addition, current megatrends – urbanization, digitalization and climate change, are all in favor of Rail Baltica, which will provide efficient transportation solutions for passengers and freight and will help the region to address challenges posed by the climate change.”
Rail Baltica Global Forum gathers industry professionals, executives, decision makers, suppliers and rail experts in a two-day international event dedicated to the Rail Baltica project. With more than 700 participants from 302 companies representing 30 countries, it is the largest railway industry event in the Baltics.
“The success of this project depends on all the countries in the region. Lithuania is committed to working together with its neighbours. We congratulate Finland on joining this project. In addition, the good will of Poland and the participation of Finland have significantly changed the importance of this North-Baltic transport artery. This is why I want to thank our partners and encourage them to support each other when achieving the common goals of this project,” said Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania.
“The Rail Baltica project fulfils many goals of the European infrastructure and mobility policy – connecting the Eastern and Western parts of the EU; peripheral regions to the centre; creating corridors crossing and connecting many Member States; moving freight from road to rail and supporting sustainable transport corridors – just to name a few,” Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport, DG MOVE, European Commission, explained in his opening speech of the Forum. “The European Commission is fully committed to this project and until now our involvement has been both – intense and proactive.”
The first day of the Forum is devoted to discussion of economic, political and financial topics of the project, when a closer look is taken at the potential for passengers, freight and regional development; future of the financing; information on the infrastructure management; and involvement of Poland and Finland in the project.
“Historically, availability of modern infrastructure has always been among the key determinants of the wealth and competitiveness of nations,” emphasized Catherine Trautmann, the North-Sea Baltic TEN-T Corridor coordinator. “High-speed rail infrastructure is particularly prominent in this regard, boasting some of the highest levels of secondary economic benefits and macroeconomic multipliers among the different types of infrastructure investment.”
During the Forum, the first phase Detailed Technical Design contract for railway section Kaunas–Ramygala in Lithuania was signed by Alvaro Rey, CEO of IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture, Timo Riihimaki and Ignas Degutis from RB Rail AS. This moment marked another significant milestone reach in the project, commencing the design activities on the main line of Rail Baltica in Lithuania.
The Forum will continue with information about the project financing, discussion of infrastructure management and speeches by Finland and Poland representatives after the break, as well as insightful programme on two stages tomorrow.
The second day will highlight project technical aspects, such as procurement plans for 2019, executed studies, detailed technical designs. Panel discussion with leading railway industry associations will provide insight into large infrastructure project development experience. In addition, the Architectural and Visual Landscaping Guidelines of Rail Baltica project will be revealed on the Social Dimension Stage.
More information about the conference and live stream of the event is available on the Rail Baltica Global Forum webpage.