The world’s longest undersea rail tunnel – 103 km long – between Finland and Estonia could cost up to 20 billion euros ($24.7 billion) and be opened for traffic by 2040. Following years of investigations, Helsinki and Tallinn are looking to build a permanent undersea link between the two northern capitals, situated on the opposite sides of the Gulf of Finland. Tens of thousands of Estonians work in the Helsinki region, many of whom commute over the sea weekly, and many Finnish tourists visit Tallinn.
The tunnel would connect the cities’ airports and it would also link up with Rail Baltica, a railway connection between Tallinn and Warsaw, projected to be completed in 2026. It would shorten the travel time between Helsinki and Tallinn to about 30 minutes, from at least 90 minutes currently by fast ferry. Without the tunnel, passenger traffic between the cities is expected to grow from 9 million in 2017 to 14 million by 2050. With the tunnel, the traffic would grow to 23 million, of which 10 million would still be transported by ferries.
Once the tunnel becomes operational – between 2030 and 2035 – it will provide reliable and rapid transportation between the two capital cities, offering a vital connection between Scandinavia and Central Europe. It will be the world’s longest undersea rail tunnel.
“Estonia will be connected to central Europe… and we don’t stop here” said the spokesman of the Minister of Transport and Communications.
The feasibility study estimated the tunnel would cost 13-20 billion euros, hoping that 40 percent of the costs would come from the European Union. The governments said they would evaluate the results in more detail during the spring.
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