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Old July 29th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #121
Rebasepoiss
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I still hope it never happens
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Old July 29th, 2013, 10:09 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
The only passenger train that could potentially use it is the Riga - St.Petersburg train but since the Valga-Koidula line is in a terrible condition, this won't happen any time soon.
I was more thinking of a possible extension of the Pskov-Pechory service to Koidula.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 02:53 PM   #123
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That's not a viable option due to lengthy border checks.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 05:00 PM   #124
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That's not a viable option due to lengthy border checks.
Well, that depends on the demand for cross-border traffic. Also, within the next few years travel between Russia and EU will no longer require a visa. That will increase border traffic a lot.

A first small step would be to make sure trains are timed so you can get to Pechory, cross the border and then have time to catch the train in Koidula.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #125
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Well, that depends on the demand for cross-border traffic. Also, within the next few years travel between Russia and EU will no longer require a visa. That will increase border traffic a lot.
Considering that, maybe if possible someone should start a Tartu-Pskov train...the interest should be there
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Old August 8th, 2013, 12:42 AM   #126
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I take it that these are good news for Rail Baltica even if it will be a long way to becoming reality:

http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/33252/

Will it really connect the Baltic countries with a general track design of 160 to 240 km/h max?
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Old August 8th, 2013, 02:00 PM   #127
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I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that last question but I'll try to answer it anyway: currently the highest oprating speed on any railway in the Baltics is 120km/h. The new Rail Baltic would be a standard gauge double-track electrified railway on a a completely new route and the planned design speed is indeed 240km/h.

According to the preliminary study made by AECOM, this would result in the following travel times (provided that the route is Tallinn-Riga-Panevežys-Kaunas-Polish border)

1) Tallinn-Riga 1h 54min
2) Riga-Kaunas 1h 22min
3) Tallinn-Polish border ca 4h 15min

However, there are other slightly different alternatives which might alter the route a bit. Also, what happens in Poland is still hard to predict. AFAIK, the poles will upgrade existing railways up to 160km/h but probably not more than that.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #128
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It comes from hardness of upgrading existing lines for more than 160 km/h. I don't know how in other countries, but in Poland it's impossible to rebuild eg. curves from 100 km/h to 200 km/h - they're almost always too hard. Of course where line goes straight, it easily might be for 200-250 km/h, but such stretches are rarer in Poland than in Baltic countries and if they allow such speeds, it would be necessary to brake before every curve, so it's nonsense.

To have some kind of HSR from Lithuania to Warsaw Poles should build a new line, but there are many other priorities here...
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Old August 8th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that last question but I'll try to answer it anyway: currently the highest oprating speed on any railway in the Baltics is 120km/h. The new Rail Baltic would be a standard gauge double-track electrified railway on a a completely new route and the planned design speed is indeed 240km/h.

According to the preliminary study made by AECOM, this would result in the following travel times (provided that the route is Tallinn-Riga-Panevežys-Kaunas-Polish border)

1) Tallinn-Riga 1h 54min
2) Riga-Kaunas 1h 22min
3) Tallinn-Polish border ca 4h 15min

However, there are other slightly different alternatives which might alter the route a bit. Also, what happens in Poland is still hard to predict. AFAIK, the poles will upgrade existing railways up to 160km/h but probably not more than that.
I doubt there will be a brand new line built in Baltics any time soon. Also too many other priorities and not enough cash lying around. But if it were to be built I'd favour a route Tallinn-Parnu-Riga-Jelgava-Siauliai-Kaunas-Marijampole with a branch to Vilnius from Kaunas.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 07:54 PM   #130
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To have some kind of HSR from Lithuania to Warsaw Poles should build a new line, but there are many other priorities here...
Exactly. And to be honest, I really doubt there is a need for a high speed (200 km/h or more) between Warsaw and Lithuanian border. There aren't and there won't be enough international trains and travellers wanting to take them to justify high costs of building a new line.
And I don't think that any authorities in Poland consider anything else but upgrading the existing line to 160 km/h. And that makes sense from Poland's point of view, imo.

Last edited by asahi; August 8th, 2013 at 08:55 PM.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #131
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I doubt there will be a brand new line built in Baltics any time soon. Also too many other priorities and not enough cash lying around. But if it were to be built I'd favour a route Tallinn-Parnu-Riga-Jelgava-Siauliai-Kaunas-Marijampole with a branch to Vilnius from Kaunas.
If the Rail Baltic project (i.e the exact route, technical details and other paperwork) gets done on time, the chance of it being co-financed by the EU is bigger than one might think, at least it's bigger than ever before.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 09:01 PM   #132
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If the Rail Baltic project (i.e the exact route, technical details and other paperwork) gets done on time, the chance of it being co-financed by the EU is bigger than one might think, at least it's bigger than ever before.
Right, but how big will be a co-payment? Could easily be still in billions...
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Old August 8th, 2013, 09:53 PM   #133
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That's right, if the co-funding is less than, let's say 70%, this project is unlikely to happen. We have to remember that this is the largest infrastructure project in the history of Baltic states. The cost of the Estonian section alone is estimated to be around € 1 billion. For comparison, the size of the state budget in 2013 is € 7.7 billion.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 10:33 PM   #134
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The article above was talking about up to 85%. If the Baltic countries don't take that offer they are either utterly bankrupt or miss something out on a huge scale. That means if only 15% of the money would benefit Estonian companies or workers this has paid off already. Most likely it will be a big net gain for the Estonian economy even already during its construction.

If Rail Baltica were realized intercity trains between the Baltic cities were to become competitive and night trains to Warsaw and beyond a real option. Given that such a connection is simply inexistant (no I don't count connections via Russia that take forever and three days plus a detour around half of Europe) as of now means there is clearly a big infrastructural deficit.

PS: Just found out that there is a dedicated thread about Rail Baltica here: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...20660&page=148
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Last edited by Slartibartfas; August 8th, 2013 at 10:53 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 10:32 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
The article above was talking about up to 85%. If the Baltic countries don't take that offer they are either utterly bankrupt or miss something out on a huge scale. That means if only 15% of the money would benefit Estonian companies or workers this has paid off already. Most likely it will be a big net gain for the Estonian economy even already during its construction.
I have my doubts... Estonia is the richest of the three countries and it would have the shortest stretch of the project. Latvian stretch would be about 180 km. A conservative estimate for such a brand new line on flat land is 20 million euros per kilometre (French TGV numbers). So that would be 3.6 billion and 20% of that would be 720 million euros. Of course it's over 5 years at least, but there is no way such money could be found in Latvian budget so it would have to be borrowed somewhere and then we also need to consider the almost inevitable cost overruns...
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Old August 9th, 2013, 12:43 PM   #136
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According to the preliminary study, the Latvian section would cost €1.2 billion so 20% of that would be €240 million.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #137
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These are vastly different numbers indeed. I'd rather believe a preliminary study than simply taking TGV numbers out of context. So 240 mio € over 5 years would be 48 Mio € per year. If you can't afford that for such a crucial infrastructure project you can afford nothing.

The new main station of Vienna alone costs already 1 bn €.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 09:02 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
According to the preliminary study, the Latvian section would cost €1.2 billion so 20% of that would be €240 million.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
These are vastly different numbers indeed. I'd rather believe a preliminary study than simply taking TGV numbers out of context. So 240 mio € over 5 years would be 48 Mio € per year. If you can't afford that for such a crucial infrastructure project you can afford nothing.

The new main station of Vienna alone costs already 1 bn €.
If it really costs that little then it would indeed be affordable at 70%+ financing from EU, but the estimate seems unusually low to me. French numbers are for 300 km/h line, but they have a lot more experience in building them. It will be in standard gauge so using any stretches of the classical line will not be possible.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 09:05 PM   #139
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Costs for a 300 km/h line are defnitely not comparable to a 240 km/h line. And everythings different again if the geography is less or more demanding.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 08:00 PM   #140
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Preliminary planning is already happening in Estonia. It will be revealed to general public in this autumn and once complete,it will be then used as base material for construction project planning.
Thanks to some rural village's fight against route proposals in Estonia we already know that there are ~7-8 route options under consideration.

It's safer to assume that construction cost are higher than lower. Not sure about TGV routes construction difficulties in France,but in Estonia Rail Baltica would pass through lowlands and swamps. On positive side this also means lower population which in turn means less problems with acquiring land for railway construction.

As for the cost we can assume that at least 70% comes from EU. And what's even better - there are some rumours that various investment funds & banks have shown interest in Rail Baltica project. In these times when banks are vary about large scale investments & loans,it's really reassuring to know that them this project seems worth investing in.
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