Today, on July 19, the first train from the Netherlands loaded with containers and semi-trailers, arrived at the Kaunas Intermodal Terminal (KIT) by the European standard-gauge railway, completed in 2015. KIT has thus become the so far most north-eastern point of the European railway system, which, after the completion of all works and formalities on the Rail Baltica railway section Kaunas-Palemonas, can be reached by European standard rolling stock. With actions being taken to ensure infrastructure with the Rail Baltica Global project parameters on the section between the Polish-Lithuanian border and Kaunas, use of the infrastructure already in place allows to start initial freight shipments even before the full Rail Baltica Global Project infrastructure is developed.
The development of commercial transport by Rail Baltica is not only an economic but also an environmental benefit, as the development of commercial transport by rail and the gradual transition to a sustainable circular economy will significantly reduce environmental pollution making it a contribution to the EU’s Green Deal strategy.
“I am pleased with the professionalism of colleagues. Undoubtedly the experience gained with this project will facilitate further construction of the Rail Baltica in line with the commitments. I strongly call for active participation for the entrepreneurs both for local and international partners, working hand in hand public tenders that have a strong tendency to increase in number,” said Karolis Sankovski, Chief Executive Officer of LTG Infra.
He noted that this project is 85% funded by the EU Structural Funds. The continued support of the EU institutions for the project shows that Rail Baltica is more than a railway infrastructure – it is an economic corridor that promotes regional connections.
“The commercial opening of KIT allows to capitalize on the European-gauge section between the Polish-Lithuanian border and Kaunas that was developed in 2015 and start initial freight shipments even before the full Rail Baltica Global Project infrastructure is developed. This will allow us to start developing the initial business case for the long-term development of freight logistics along the Rail Baltica corridor which is being developed in parallel. Recently, the construction of the Rail Baltica international station at the Riga International Airport was launched while the Pärnu and Ülemiste International stations design in Estonia are at their final stages and construction is to follow shortly. With more than 640km of main line already under design, railway systems development started and further main line construction procurements to be launched, I am glad to see that it will be possible to announce design procurements for the Global Project alignment on sections between Kaunas and Polish – Lithuanian border and between Kaunas – Vilnius already this year,” said Agnis Driksna, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Management Board of RB Rail AS, the joint venture of the Rail Baltica. “This is an important day for the Baltic states and a concrete proof of the achievements possible under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility.”