The Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail announced an open competition for the elaboration of project’s infrastructure management study with a proposal submission deadline of August 14, 2017.
The aim of this study is to review and comprehensively analyse a range of relevant models of cross-border railway infrastructure management and identify the optimum model for the Rail Baltica Global Project from the perspectives of life-cycle cost and economic efficiency as well as efficient market functioning, covering a broad range of institutional, operation and commercial factors, while bearing in mind the unique nature of this project.
“Given the highly complex stakeholder matrix intrinsic to cross-border infrastructure projects, the study shall aim to achieve a sustainable balance between national considerations, on the one hand, and the Rail Baltica Global Project perspective and its ambition to create an exemplary platform for an efficient functioning of the single European railway market, on the other. All in all, the sooner the infrastructure manager is determined, the sooner we can launch a full-fledged project commercialization strategy – which is a key pre-requisite for the success and long-term sustainability of Rail Baltica,” Kaspars Briškens, Business Development Manager of RB Rail said.
In order to ensure a timely identification and engagement of the infrastructure manager and future Rail Baltica users both in the planning and design processes, contributing to the delivery of an efficient, easily maintainable and financially sustainable infrastructure that is tailor-made to the needs of future users, project stakeholders have jointly agreed to carry out an independent infrastructure management study.
The designation of the infrastructure manager at an early stage of project implementation is best practice within the Single European Railway Area and globally. European Union works consistently on improving the efficiency of infrastructure management by ensuring better alignment between infrastructure managers and rail operators, streamlining and ensuring coherence in the management of the different functions of the infrastructure manager and promoting the cross-border and pan-European dimension of railway infrastructure, as well as promoting equal access and thereby a more efficient railway market functioning by tackling conflicts of interest, distortions of competition and access barriers to infrastructure.
This comprehensive independent analysis of Rail Baltica infrastructure management options will aid and promote an informed future political decision-making process on the management of the built Rail Baltica infrastructure by the end of 2018.
“In addition to determining the optimum model for Rail Baltica infrastructure management, the study shall provide a better assessment of the long-term value of the Rail Baltica infrastructure and, thereby, also of the long-term socio-economic return on the European and national investment. In the case of Rail Baltica it will also promote greater project transparency and strengthen the case for continued EU support to the project,” Briškens said.