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Gulf of Finland - FinEst Link demonstrates feasibility of a tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn

The results of the FinEst Link project, officially displayed in February 2018, demonstrate the technical feasibility of a railway tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn. The project also shows that a fast connection between the two capital cities will have major benefits for the region.

The project “FinEst Link”, cofinanced by the EU in the framework of the Interreg VA Central Baltic programme, has produced significant results in favour of the construction of a fixed-link between Finland and Estonia capital cities. The final conference in Tallinn on 7 February 2018 was the opportunity to display the main results of the project.

A railway tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn

The project has studied the feasibility of a railway tunnel between the two capital cities Helsinki and Tallinn. It states that the project is technically feasible, for a cost ranging from 13 to 20 billion euros. The construction of such a tunnel, that would last 15 years, implies the construction of two artificial islands in the national waters of Estonia and Finland, as well as the establishment of new terminals on both sides. The tunnel would be operated with European standards for rail gauge, thus providing a new opportunity to access to the Finnish railways. It would offer a 30 minutes connection between the two capital cities, a significant improvement compared to the over-2-hours travel time still currently needed to cross the Gulf of Finland with the fastest ferries.

An important economic impact for the region

FinEst Link project demonstrates that a fast connection between Helsinki and Tallinn could bring important benefits in the region, helping the creation of a metropolitan twin-city region of 3 million inhabitants. It would create new possibilities for businesses, growth and employment in the region, with a significant growth of freight and passengers’ traffic.  Moreover, this would have important impact for the connection of northern Europe to the rest of the EU. Not to mention the environmental benefits, such a tunnel generating significantly less carbon emissions than maritime traffic.

If national authorities from Estonia and Finland now take the decision to continue the project, the tunnel could open in 2040.

 

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