Estonia intends to switch to the European railway gauge in order to separate russia and belarus from the pan-European transport network
Estonia is just beginning to form its position on the proposal of the European Commission for the transition to a single railway gauge across Europe. The decision also depends on the position of Latvia and Lithuania. This is reported by the Railway Supply magazine with reference to the telegram channel of the community of belarusian railway workers.
In the Baltic countries and in Finland, the so-called russian gauge is used, with a width of 1520 mm (in Finland – 1524 mm). The single gauge recommended by the European Commission and used in most of Europe is 1435 mm.
According to Indrek Gailan, head of the transport and investment development department at the Ministry of Economy and Communications, behind the commission proposal is a desire to separate russia and belarus from the pan-European transport network and add Ukraine and Moldova to it. Discussions with the European Commission will begin in autumn, but for now Estonia’s position is being formulated. Gailan noted that it is first necessary to obtain information on this issue from Latvia and Lithuania, since it is not a good idea to install the European gauge in Estonia alone.
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The commission proposal does not affect the already planned work on the Estonian railways, such as the electrification and reconstruction of the Tallinn-Tartu railway, as well as issues related to the Haapsalu railway.
Gailan added that this is not about the failure of the Haapsalu railway project; the government decision only meant that no European money would be allocated for the particular section of Turba-Risti.
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