Government approves infrastructure development plan for Rail Baltica’s Kaunas node

The Government of Lithuania approved the infrastructure development plan for the Kaunas railway node of the European-gauge project Rail Baltica. The meeting held on Wednesday resolved to start the procedures for land acquisition for public needs.

“The Kaunas railway node will connect the tracks that will surround Kaunas from the southern and northern sides, will include the Kaunas railway station and the access to the Kaunas intermodal terminal. The new infrastructure of the European railway is a significant impetus for the long-term social and economic growth of the entire region and better communication,” said Mindaugas Tarnauskas, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania.

“In the near future, a contract will be signed on the development and implementation of projects of land acquisition for public needs at the Kaunas railway node. In addition, preparations are being made in parallel for the design activities of the Kaunas passenger station, as well as “point-type objects” – vehicle and railway overpasses and crossings – on this railway section. It is planned that the design works of the latter infrastructure facilities will begin in the first quarter of this year”, said Dovydas Palaima, General Manager at LTG Infra Rail Baltica Management.

The European-gauge main, arrival and departure tracks to the existing Kaunas station building will be built in the Kaunas node. The 1520 mm gauge tracks will be moved to the southern side of the station.

In order to improve communication and traffic safety, the construction of the Kaunas railway node will include 5 new railway viaducts and 2 new bridges over the Jiesia River, as well as the reconstruction or widening of 5 existing bridges. Furthermore, there are plans to build a railway tunnel for the planned double-track railway in the vicinity of the Palemonas station, and for the safe movement of pedestrians and vehicles – to install 7 vehicle tunnels, reconstruct vehicle viaducts and install pedestrian crossings.

Implementation of solutions of the infrastructure development plan will include building a railway road in the sections Palemonas-Kaunas-Jiesia and Palemonas-Kaunas HPP-Rokai-Jiesia. A total of 120.8 km of railway tracks will be installed or reconstructed; the entire section will be electrified.

The solutions of the infrastructure development plan of the Kaunas node were presented to the public in March of last year. In June, the Government already approved the special plan for the maintenance depots in Kaunas and Panevėžys.

Final territorial planning activities are currently underway in other sections as well: from Kaunas to Vilnius and from Jiesia (Kaunas) to the Lithuanian-Polish border. It is expected that their infrastructure development plans will be approved by the middle of 2024. 

Rail Baltica is the largest railway infrastructure project in the history of the Baltic States, which will include the construction of an electrified dual European standard railway connecting Warsaw, Kaunas, Vilnius, Panevėžys, Riga, Pärnu and Tallinn. The total length of Rail Baltica in the Baltic States is 870 km, Lithuania – 392 km, Latvia – 265 km, Estonia – 213 km.

The most frequently asked questions about the Rail Baltica project – the stages of territorial planning and land acquisition (in Lithuanian): here.