Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel needs private funding

23 May 2018

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Map illustrating planned route of the Tallinn Railway Tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn

The Tallinn Railway Tunnel project to link Helsinki, the capital of Finland, with Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, would require private sector participation to proceed, according to a feasibility study.

A task force chaired by the Finnish government’s Ministry of Transport & Communications was set up in February 2018 to assess the need for further research on the project and its wider impact.

In the task force’s final report, it was said that the project’s scale and complexity would necessitate the development of new, innovative solutions, especially regarding funding. New technologies would also need to be explored and used for drilling and high-speed rail transport.

The next step would be to develop a project vehicle, such as a project company, to move the scheme forwards. It was said that it would require strong project organisation and would likely need to secure funding from multiple sources.

The feasibility study recommended that Finland and Estonia co-ordinate their land use planning and work together to ensure that the tunnel will be included in the EU’s Trans-European transport network (TEN-T) – an initiative which channels financial support towards important air, rail, road, and maritime transport infrastructure projects across the member states – when it is revised in 2023. This would create visibility for the project and would enable applications to be made for certain EU funding.

It was also suggested that by the end of 2018 the two countries should agree on concrete involvement and participation in the implementation of the project.

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