Information published on 13 October 2020 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

North Sea-Baltic: Latvia and Estonia join Rail Freight Corridor North Sea-Baltic

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With Latvia and Estonia, two new countries officially joined the Rail Freight Corridor North Sea-Baltic on the 12th October 2020, almost five years after the establishment of the Corridor. The connection to Riga and Tallinn became part of the European rail freight corridor network, strengthening the existing freight transportation routes.

Rail Freight Corridor North Sea-Baltic (RFC NS-B) is a European project with the aim of improving the attractiveness and efficiency of rail freight by providing a seamless and good quality path offer along the Corridor.

The governance structure of RFC NS-B has been enlarged by including the representatives of the ministry of transport from Latvia and Estonia in the Executive Board and the Latvian IM (VAS “Latvijas dzelzceļš”), the Estonian IM (AS Eesti Raudtee) and the Latvian Allocation Body (AS “LatRailNet”) in the Management Board of the Corridor.

The Corridor routing has been extended from Kaunas (Lithuania) to Riga (Latvia) and Tallinn (Estonia) as a main route and from Kaunas to Vilnius (Lithuania), Daugavpils and Krustpils to Riga (Latvia) as a diversionary line. All these lines have a track gauge of 1520mm. This interface between standard and broad gauge, together with the strategic location of Latvia and Estonia will contribute to a better connectivity of the European Union with the East and Asia, as well as open multimodal transportation opportunities from the Baltic Sea ports to the North Sea ports.

Hence, the RFC NS-B belongs to the corridors with the greatest potential for growth by providing high capacity transport services. From now on, capacity can also be requested on these lines via the Corridor One-Stop-Shop, the single contact point for all Corridor requests.

The Corridor is also grateful for the financial support received from the European Commission, which made these developments possible.

More about Rail Freight Corridor North Sea - Baltic

RFC NS-B was established on the 10th of November 2015 according to the Regulation (EU) 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight. With the extension the Corridor now runs through eight EU Member States: starting in the North Sea ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven and Hamburg spreading in central Germany through Aachen, Hannover, Magdeburg and Berlin to Warsaw and the Polish-Belarus border in Terespol. A branch leads from Magdeburg to Prague via Falkenberg and Dresden. In Falkenberg starts the Southern branch in Poland to Wrocław and Katowice. Another branch goes from Warsaw to Kaunas, then to Riga and Tallinn.

RFC NS-B includes more than 8000 km of railway lines and connects the most important North Sea ports with Central Europe and the Baltic States providing a rail bridge between Eastern and Western Europe.

The RFC NS-B infrastructure contains:

  • 4480 km of principal lines,
  • 2524 km of diversionary lines,
  • 1008 km of connecting lines,
  • 950 km of expected principal and diversionary lines,
  • 201 terminals
  • 12 seaports: Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Riga, Ventspils, Liepāja, Paldiski, Muuga and Sillamäe.

(Source: PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A.)