Rail Baltica: The People Behind the Vision. Merilin Danquah

Rail Baltica is a railway infrastructure megaproject that spans across several countries. The depth of skills and expertise required to successfully execute a greenfield project of this caliber is extensive and would not be possible without our diverse team of professionals.

Welcome back to our series, “Rail Baltica: The People Behind the Vision,” where we introduce you to the members of the Rail Baltica global project team. These individuals are the driving force advancing the Rail Baltica project with their professionalism, dedication, and passion for this project.

Merilin Danquah, Head of Project Management – Railway Systems and Operations, Rail Baltic Estonia

As the Head of Project Management for Railway Systems and Operations (CCS) at Rail Baltic Estonia, Merilin oversees the growth and development of the CCS team, managing their activities, resources, and associated risks to ensure successful project delivery in Estonia. Her responsibilities extend to planning, executing, and supervising project-related procurements, as well as monitoring contractual obligations and refining project management processes. Merilin also offers guidance to stakeholders on regulatory compliance and project requirements, while fostering collaboration with public authorities, organizations, and employers. Currently expanding her team, she welcomes inquiries about available positions and invites to reach out to her for further information.

What does the Rail Baltica project mean to you?

The Rail Baltica project holds profound significance for people across the Baltic region and beyond, representing far more than just a transportation initiative. To me, it symbolizes unity, progress, and opportunity. The Rail Baltica project embodies a shared vision of regional cooperation and integration. It fosters a sense of unity and solidarity among neighboring countries, transcending historical divides and strengthening bonds of friendship and collaboration. As I live in rural and remote area myself, Rail Baltica represents a lifeline to greater connectivity and mobility. It provides access to urban centers, educational opportunities, healthcare services, and cultural amenities, bridging geographical divides and enhancing quality of life. I am very passionate about sustainable future and Rail Baltica promotes modal shift from road and air travel to rail – a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. By reducing carbon emissions and congestion, the project contributes to efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment for future generations. The Rail Baltica project fills me with a sense of pride and optimism for the future. It represents a bold vision realized through collaboration, innovation, and determination – a testament to what can be achieved when nations come together to pursue common goals.

What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of this mega project?

The Rail Baltica project is undoubtedly a massive undertaking with numerous complexities and challenges. However, one of the most significant and persistent challenges facing the project is cross-border coordination and collaboration.

The Rail Baltica project spans multiple countries – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and extends into Poland and beyond. Coordinating and collaborating across different political, regulatory, and cultural landscapes pose significant challenges. Each country may have its own regulatory requirements, procurement processes, and stakeholder interests, which can complicate decision-making and project execution. Achieving consensus on issues such as route alignment, funding mechanisms, environmental considerations, and land acquisition can be time-consuming and require extensive negotiations among stakeholders at both national and international levels. Moreover, ensuring seamless interoperability and integration of railway systems across borders is crucial for the project’s success but requires close coordination and alignment of technical standards, operational procedures, and infrastructure investments.

Overcoming these challenges will require strong leadership, effective communication, and a spirit of cooperation among all parties involved. It will also necessitate the establishment of robust governance structures, clear decision-making processes, and mechanisms for resolving conflicts and addressing diverging interests. Despite the complexities, the potential benefits of the Rail Baltica project make overcoming these challenges imperative, and successful collaboration among all stakeholders will be key to realizing its full potential.