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Helsinki to Tallinn undersea rail link moves forward

Helskini port, south harbour

The governments of Finland and Estonia have agreed to explore the feasibility of building an 80km undersea rail link to connect their capital cities.

Officials have signed a memorandum of understanding to progress the project. So far SWECO has carried out a pre-feasibility study of a Helsinki Tallinn fixed link and estimates that the project could cost up to £9.5bn and confirms that a tunnel would be economically viable. The aim would be to build a link that would cut travel times between the two cities to 30 minutes.

If it goes ahead, the current plan is for a twin tube railway tunnel plus a service tunnel to be bored through rock under the seabed. Cross passages for maintenance and rescue routes will be drilled between the tunnel tubes.

Talsinki technical solution

Talsinki technical solution

Source: SWECO

Government officials in Helsinki said in a statement: “Helsinki and Tallinn together form an economic area of approximately 1.5M people. To fully utilise the area’s potential, transport between the cities should be faster and flow easier than at present.

It added: “A potential long-term solution to shorten the distance between the cities would be provided by an undersea railway tunnel. The signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding seek to investigate further the economic preconditions for the construction and operation of such a tunnel and the tunnel’s socioeconomic impact.”

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