Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail AS has signed a contract, valued EUR 116 625, with the Spanish infrastructure consultancy company “Ineco” to identify opportunities to maximize the benefits of the Rail Baltica railway corridor. The study will provide guidance and recommendations for Rail Baltica from a “Dig Once” perspective to better calibrate the necessary Rail Baltica infrastructure design elements, future possibilities, and business cases, as well as provide insights to Baltic governments on opportunities to co-synchronize relevant infrastructure developments with the delivery of Rail Baltica. The study and recommendations are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022.
The study will review relevant international experiences, best practice and lessons learned in the overall field of synergistic opportunities – ranging from digital and energy infrastructure to possibilities of synchronized co-development of local connections to the Rail Baltica mainline for industrial, defence and other areas.
Digital infrastructure options include rural/regional connectivity (such as 5G and broadband), backbone networks, services at stations, and connectivity for socio-economic drivers, while energy synergies will cover grid resilience, standby power, options at regional stations (for example, for electric vehicle charging), renewable sources and other emerging opportunities. The study will also reinforce the importance of an integrated cross-border approach to maximize the long-term value of these opportunities. While considering the advanced stage of Rail Baltica infrastructure design and preparations to ramp up construction works across the Baltic states, the study shall also seek to identify longer-term development opportunities and ensure that doors for such synergies during further project implementation phases remain open.
Relevant institutional and commercial partners and stakeholders will be involved in the delivery of actionable recommendations for Rail Baltica and the wider Baltic and EU decision-makers. To promote funding synergies, the study shall also consider potential synergy components of the EU Connecting Europe Facility and other European and national funding programmes, while keeping in mind State Aid and other EU regulations.
As Kaspars Briškens, Head of Strategy and Development for Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail AS, emphasizes: “«Dig Once» is a time-tested, intelligent and highly efficient approach used by successful mega-projects to deliver value and benefits far beyond the underlying infrastructure elements. Rail Baltica must be recognized as more than just a railway, which, in turn, will pave the way for more integrated planning and synchronized developments of other related infrastructure so that the value of potential improvements is significantly greater than the sum of its parts.”
RB Rail AS is a multinational joint venture of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania established to lead and coordinate the implementation of the Rail Baltica global project, the first infrastructure development project of this scale. RB Rail AS is the central project coordinator for the Rail Baltica project and is responsible for the development, construction, and commercialization of the railway infrastructure mega-project.