The Rail Baltica operational plan was published, which provides passenger and freight trains services for 2026 – 2056, meeting the transport demand in medium and long term, and offering the needed capacity for all types of train services. The plan defines passenger and freight timetables and includes benchmarked usable rolling stock, indicative locations of infrastructure and rolling stock maintenance facilities as well as detailed track layouts.
According to the plan, once the line is launched, Rail Baltica will provide a fast rail connection between the Baltic capitals every two hours. The high-speed trains from Tallinn to Warsaw and from Tallinn to Vilnius are estimated to run 4 times per day once the line is launched and up to 6 times per day within 10 years of operations. Additionally, up 10 ten trains per day will run on Vilnius-Kaunas-Warsaw route.
There are also included two night-trains on the route Tallinn-Riga-Kaunas-Warsaw-Berlin and Vilnius-Kaunas-Warsaw-Berlin, enabling passengers to travel further to other destinations in Europe. In addition, passengers will be able to reach Riga International Airport from the Riga Central Station in around 10 minutes, with minimum one train every 30 minutes.
“This plan will be used to ensure that Rail Baltica track is used efficiently from the first day of its operations and allowing to scale-up passenger and cargo services after the phase-in period,” said Jean-Marc Bedmar, Head of Systems and Operation Department at RB Rail AS.
The high-level assessment carried out within the operational plan reveals a potential of regional train development in all three Baltic states, with maximum speed 200 km/h. This means that Rail Baltica tracks can be used not only for international train services but also for regional and cross-border regional services, bringing the fast and clean transport mode to different locations throughout the whole Rail Baltica corridor.
On freight transport, according to the plan, 2-3 cargo trains per hour with the maximum speed up to 120 km/h will run on the Rail Baltica line. The estimated axle load of trains is 25 tonnes with a length of trains of 1050m. To facilitate freight movement on the line, three large-scale multimodal terminals are being developed in Muuga (Estonia), Salaspils (Latvia) and Palemonas (Lithuania). It is expected that 80% of freight trains on Rail Baltica will be intermodal trains, allowing logistic operators to move the freight from roads to rail, by putting containers and trucks on wagons. Important reduction of the air pollution and road traffic congestion are expected, as well as improvement of the overall road traffic safety.
The main outputs of the operational plan will be used for further phases of studies, including the Detailed Technical Design of Rail Baltica infrastructure.
The plan was developed by the German company ETC Gauff Mobility GmbH, in consortium with COWI A/S (Denmark) and Institut für Bahntechnik GmbH (Germany).