Photo review: built-in time capsule at Rail Baltica international railway station at “Riga” airport

With Rail Baltica high-speed infrastructure construction works advancing, on 7 December 2022 time capsule with messages for the future generations was embedded at the construction site of the Rail Baltica international station at the Riga International Airport. This event marks significant changes on the construction site, as works are gradually moving from ground level to more visible outlines.

The time capsule was embedded in one of the overpass’ supports that will hold the track elevated above the road. Construction of foundations of the future railway station and baggage tunnel at the future Riga Airport Terminal is also actively taking place and will continue to be among the key priorities for 2023.

This traditional and symbolic event was attended by the President of Latvia Egils Levits, implementers and partners of Rail Baltica global project – Minister of Transport of the Republic of Latvia Tālis Linkaits, Head of European Commission Representation in Latvia Zane Petre, Chairman of Board at “Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas” Kaspars Vingris Kaspars Vingris, Chairperson of the Board and CEO at RB Rail AS Agnis Driksna, Executive Committee Member of the Builder’s association B.S.L. Infra Harald Gorres, Board Member of the construction supervisors “Forma 2” Edgars Krasņikovs, Chairperson of Executive Board at Riga International Airport Laila Odiņa as well as representatives from Riga and Mārupe municipalities – Deputy Chairman of the Riga City Council Vilnis Ķirsis and Deputy Chairman of the Mārupe County Council Valdis Kārkliņš. 

“With the construction of the Rail Baltica station, not only the airport’s surrounding infrastructure will change, but also its role and importance in Latvia’s economy, making it possible to strengthen Riga as the aviation hub of the Baltic and Nordic countries. High-speed train traffic between the city center and the airport is not only very much expected and necessary, but also according to the regulation of the European Union’s TEN-T corridor,” said Kaspars Vingris, Chairman of the Board at “Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas”. 

“Rail Baltica has acquired a completely different geostrategic significance today, which was also confirmed in the beginning of this week by the Council’s general position on the new corridor map, in which Rail Baltica is included not only in the North Sea – Baltic Sea corridor, but also in the new Baltic Sea – Black Sea and Aegean Sea corridor, which means that in the future we will potentially also be able to take Rail Baltica train to Kyiv from the Baltic,” said Agnis Driksna, Chairperson of the Management Board and CEO at RB Rail AS.

Construction works are planned to be carried out in stages to limit any disturbances to the operation of the airport. The first high-speed rail and air connection center in the Baltics is being built near the Riga International Airport, designed both for the passenger and cargo transportation. The station’s building will rise impressively above the ground, as Rail Baltica’s train tracks in the airport area will be on flyovers. Exterior design of the international station building will be dominated by wooden elements, designed to be both comfortable, functional and as energy efficient.

During the construction of this Rail Baltica mainline section, potential connection for the future development of the freight park will also be created. Rail Baltica will give development impetus to Latvia, including to the airport, which, in the context of the upcoming Rail Baltica station and track, has developed an ambitious development strategy for its territory.

First, the three-level station building, overpass constructions and roads connections with related infrastructure are being built. The next stage of work will be the creation of the facade of the station building, followed by interior works. After that, the construction of the flyover to Riga and Jaunmārupe, and the construction of tracks will follow.

Construction works of Rail Baltica international station at Riga International Airport and its surrounding is ordered by “Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas” and carried out by the construction consortium B.S.L. Infra, combining experiences from Austrian company Swietelsky AG and Latvian construction companies – SIA Binders and AS LNK Industries.

The construction is taking place based on the winner’s project of the open international competition – the three-state association of companies PROSIV (Sintagma (Italy), Prodex (Slovakia) and Vektors T (Latvia)). Construction supervision is performed by an association of persons consisting of Forma 2 (Latvia) and Prointec S.A.U. (Spain).

Around 81-85% of the total eligible costs of the Rail Baltica project that is implemented by the three Baltic states, are provided by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) infrastructure financing instrument, whereas the remaining part – by the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian State budgets.