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Gulf of Finland - Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel feasibility study got EU funding

Published the 8 July 2016

The implementation opportunities of the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel will be studied by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council together with its partners, among others the Harju County Government, with the help of EU funding. The EU funding for the Interreg Central Baltic Programme was confirmed on 14th June. The two-year project will examine the tunnel project in terms of technology, economy and competitiveness. The overall budget for the project is €1.3 million.

Clarity on the economic effects and building expenses of the tunnel

An early report published just over a year ago states that the Helsinki to Tallinn railway tunnel could be an economically profitable investment. The Finnish Estonian Transport Link (FinEst Link) project starting in August will thoroughly study the profitability of the construction of the tunnel. The connecting tunnel would be a large project on a global scale and would benefit the whole of Finland.

The early report states that an increase of 30 per cent in the current passenger and freight traffic would cover more than half of the expenses of the tunnel. The project would also call for private investors. In order to cover the construction costs of the railway, a 40 per cent EU grant would be required. Corresponding funding has been granted to, for example, the construction of the tunnel between Denmark and Germany.

Safety, environmental and technical issues are taken care of

In addition to profitability, the study will examine the safety, the environmental effects and the technical construction opportunities of the tunnel. The costs and benefits of the tunnel will be compared to an option where the current ferry traffic would be improved.

Together Helsinki and Tallinn form an economic area of approximately 1.5 million people. To fully utilise the area's potential, the transport between the cities should be faster, and flow easier than at present. On a short term, the cities need improvements in the current sea connections and easier transport flows in the harbours. A potential long-term solution to shorten the distance between the cities would be provided by an undersea railway tunnel.

The Lead Partner of the project is the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and partners include the Harju County Government, the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and the Finnish Transport Agency. The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and the Harju County Government are partners of the European Straits Initiative.

Insights into the FinEst Link in PASSAGE seminar in November

The FinEst Link project will be presented in a thematic seminar of PASSAGE project in Helsinki in November. The seminar concentrates on low-carbon transport in the Helsinki-Uusimaa region and in the Gulf of Finland. It offers a great opportunity for the stakeholders and project partners of both projects to have an insight into the current questions of the Gulf of Finland and to network with both projects.

Links

Follow the progression of the FinEst Link and find new research results on the project website www.finestlink.fi/en

Partners

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