An important stage of territorial planning of the European gauge railway Rail Baltica is coming to an end – specific territories, parcels of land and their parts have been identified, which the Rail Baltica railway line will cross on the section from Jiesia (Kaunas) to the Polish border. All interested parties have the opportunity to get acquainted with the draft special territorial planning document within two months and submit reasoned proposals. After the public presentation of the concrete solutions, the process of coordination and approval of the plan will begin.
“Rail Baltica from Kaunas to Poland is one of the most important sections of this project. It is planned that the first routes on the newly built railway will start in the direction of Poland,” says Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Loreta Maskaliovienė. “We are grateful to the public and municipalities for the interest shown so far and activity in the selection of the optimal railway route – we invite to continue discussing the best solutions for local residents, regions and the whole Lithuania.
In 2022, when choosing the optimal alternative to the route, the opinion of the majority of the population was taken into account – the shortest alternative to the Rail Baltica route which is the farthest from urban areas was selected. According to it, regional stations are planned in Marijampolė, Kazlų Rūda and Šeštokai.
The new European gauge railway two-way track is planned to be built in new areas and, where technical possibilities allow, by using existing European railway sections. The latter will continue to be used for regional passenger transport and military mobility. It is now operated by freight trains between the Kaunas Intermodal Terminal and Western Europe.
It is planned that 116 new structures will be built in the section from Kaunas to the Polish border, necessary for the future railway infrastructure – tunnels, bridges, overpasses, crossings for animals and passages.
After the construction of Rail Baltica, the journey by train from Kaunas to Warsaw will take 3.5 hours, and from Vilnius we will reach the capital of Poland in just over 4 hours.
“After intensive discussions with both project partners and within the team, and meetings with interested parties, we entered the final stage of territorial planning. Without waiting for the end of the year, we are already preparing for the construction of separate objects – car overpasses, animal crossings. The Government recently agreed that 154 parcels of land could be acquired from private owners before the special plan is approved. This is only a part of the parcels needed for the new line, but this will accelerate the construction of the infrastructure necessary for the railway,” – says Dovydas Palaima, General Manager of AB LTG Infra Rail Baltica Management.
It is expected that the plan will be prepared and submitted to the Government for approval at the end of this year. Once the special plan has been approved, all necessary land acquisition procedures will be launched.
Owners and users of the parcels of land where the European gauge railway or other infrastructure objects are planned, and the owners and users of the neighbouring parcels will be informed about the developed concrete solutions by registered letters.
Rail Baltica is the largest railway infrastructure project in the history of the Baltic States, which will build a fully electrified double-track European gauge railway connecting Warsaw, Kaunas, Vilnius, Panevėžys, Riga, Pärnu and Tallinn. The total length of Rail Baltica in the Baltic States is 870 km, with 392 km in Lithuania, 265 km in Latvia and 213 km in Estonia.