The Latvian government has supported a proposal by the Ministry of Transport to develop a law for the Rail Baltica high-speed railway project. The legal framework is necessary to ensure the implementation of the Rail Baltica project in a timely manner on schedule and in accordance with the technical requirements of the railway.

Rail Baltica приступає
Picture: Rail Baltica

This was reported by the railway magazine Railway Supply.

“Now the work on the design of the railway line is expanding, we see that a special law is needed. It is in the public interest to implement the project within the framework of the plan, as any delay is also an additional financial burden,” said Karlis Engelis, Director of the Railway Policy and Infrastructure Department of the Latvian Ministry of Transport.

The conceptual report “On the necessary changes in the legal framework to accelerate the implementation of the Rail Baltica project”, developed by the transport department, explains the nuances that slow down the construction of the railway and increase costs. The report also identifies possible legal solutions that should be included in the Rail Baltica law.

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Problems were identified in the design and construction of the route, the report said. It turned out that the Latvian side needs to comply with the disproportionate requirements of technical regulations that do not apply to the Rail Baltica project, as well as to extend the validity of topographic plans and the duration of construction work. Therefore, it is now important to address issues related to the ownership of land and the need to transfer the real estate needed for construction to the client.

The Ministry believes that the most effective solution to ensure the implementation of the project in accordance with the established schedule and to prevent an increase in the cost of the project is the development of the Rail Baltica law.

The main source of funding for the railway is the European Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which accounts for up to 85% of the total project cost. The remaining 15% is co-financed from the state budgets of the Baltic States.

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