Vilnius connection will increase economic value of Rail Baltica, Lithuanian government says

“The study confirmed arguments that we have been making for a while, i.e., that Vilnius connection is an important economic factor in the Baltic States, therefore, fully exploiting the capital’s potential can make a positive contribution to the entire project,” said Rimantas Sinkevičius, Minister of Transport and Communications.

Last June representatives of the Baltic countries agreed to include Vilnius in the shareholders’ agreement. Additionally, it was agreed that, while implementing the project, the three countries would try to obtain EU funding for the Vilnius connection as well. The main route of Rail Baltica will run connect Tallinn in Estonia, Riga in Latvia and Kaunas in Lithuania.

In April, SWECO conducted an analysis on the basis of environmental, social and economic factors and identified the optimal alternative for Vilnius connection. According to the results, the most efficient option is to connect Vilnius and Kaunas directly.

Aecom study, examining in detail the technical-economic parameters and future prospects of the Vilnius connection, highlighted that railway stations in central Vilnius and Kaunas, Vilnius airport and near Kaunas airport should be built and connect both: cities and airports. It is expected that this type of connection will have a great potential, the Ministry of Transport said.

Arnis Kakulis, Aecom’s director for the Baltic countries, said that the Vilnius-Kaunas link will add 850 million euros to the project’s total cost. The link will enhance the project’s cost-efficiency as it will generate additional passenger flows and increase the project’s benefit-to-cost ratio.

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