The existing line being repaired between Lelle, Rapla County and Pärnu will not be part of the Rail Baltica route but will be used to transport construction materials.
The 40 km / h rail link will mainly carry rails, sleepers, sand and gravel to be used for the Tootsi-Ikla section, Pärnu County. The construction of the Baltica railway should be completed in 2024 and connect Tallinn with Warsaw, Poland. Via Latvia and Lithuania, the existing overland travel times between the four countries will be shortened and a connection to “continental Europe” will be established in Germany and beyond.
Sections of rail are up to 50 meters long, with the total on that section estimated at 24,000 tons, along with 600,000 tons of ballast to be used for ballast.
Part of the ballast to be used in Rail Baltica will be incurred in the form of by-products from shale oil mining in the Ida-Viru district. Road transport will also be required to bring materials to the site, as well as rail connections.
Rain Kaarias, manager of rail operator Edelaraudtee, which operates trains on the existing Lelle-Pärnu line, says work on the latter will be carried out in stages.
He said: “There are plans to replace sleepers, which are currently in poor condition, as well as a small section of track, add gravel, repair switches and crossings, and reconstruct the Koogiste Bridge as the work progresses.”
Work on the Lelle-Pärnu section will require hundreds of thousands of truckloads, he added.
At the end of 2020, Edelaraudtee signed a contract with Go Track, the developer of the repair work, following a tendering process organized by the Ministry of Economy and Communication for EUR 5.8 million. Eighty-one percent of the funding comes from the EU’s “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF) financing instrument, while the Estonian state finances the remaining 19 percent.
The work will continue until 2021.
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