Finland to seek EU funding for the planning of the One-hour Turku-Helsinki Rail Link and Finland Railway
The state of Finland will apply for funding for the planning process of the One-hour Turku-Helsinki Rail Link and the Finland Railway from the European Commission. Funding will also be sought for the planning of the Espoo city rail link, improving the Pasila-Riihimäki track and the Vantaa Tram.
The funding will be sought through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme that promotes investments to the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The Cabinet Finance Committee endorsed the applications on 20 February 2020.
On 13 February 2020, the state and municipalities reached a consensus on forming project companies to promote the planning of the Finland Railway and the One-hour Turku-Helsinki Rail Link as well as on funding shares for the different parties.
The EU's CEF funding will be sought for the following projects:
One-hour Turku-Helsinki Rail Link
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will seek EUR 37.5 million to develop rail traffic between Helsinki and Turku. The total budget for the planning phase is EUR 75 million.
The Helsinki-Turku link is an important section of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the TEN-T Core Network. The current rail link from Helsinki to Turku is slow and does not follow the most direct route. Funding will be sought for the planning of the Espoo-Salo direct railway line. The Espoo-Salo direct railway line would shorten the Helsinki-Turku line. It would enable fast long-distance traffic between Helsinki and Turku and the development of regional traffic in the direction of Kirkkonummi and Lohja as well as Vihti. Funding will also be sought for the planning of the Salo-Turku double-track railway line. The double-track railway line would allow trains to run more frequently and pass each other more easily between Salo and Turku.
Planning of Espoo city rail link
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will seek EUR 11 million for the planning of the Espoo city rail link. The project's total budget is EUR 22 million. As a part of the project, the track, bridges and a tunnel need to be planned.
The Espoo city rail link is part of the One-hour Turku-Helsinki Rail Link. Planning for the Espoo city rail link is already on its way and it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the One-hour Turku-Helsinki Rail Link. No separate funding has been allocated to the project in the state budget.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will seek EUR 11.7 million to develop the Helsinki-Tampere track. The project's total budget is EUR 23.4 million. The Helsinki-Tampere track is a busy railway link and part of the Europe-wide TEN-T Core Network.
Funding will be sought for a Helsinki-Tampere assessment that includes the Airport Line between Pasila and Kerava and a connection to Tampere. It is possible to implement the connection to Tampere either as a new railway line from Helsinki Airport or by developing the current main railway between Riihimäki and Tampere. The estimated planning costs for the Finland Railway amount to EUR 150 million.
Improving the Pasila-Riihimäki track
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will seek EUR 6.5 million to develop railway traffic between Pasila and Riihimäki. The project's total budget is EUR 13 million. No separate funding has been allocated to the project in the state budget.
The city of Vantaa will seek EUR 10.15 million in CEF funding to develop the Vantaa Tram as a part of the Helsinki light rail network.
The funding is issued by the European Commission to promote investments to the Trans-European Transport Network. Successful applications also require local funding. The projects must be completed by 31 December 2023.
The Cabinet Finance Committee endorsed the applications for six other transport projects on 13 February 2020.
Decisions on CEF funding will be made after an eligibility check. The Commission has preliminarily indicated that the funding decisions will be made between June-July 2020.
The Government will process the shareholders' agreements of the project company for the One-hour Turku-Helsinki Rail Link and the Finland Railway in the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy in March 2020. The cities and municipalities will process the shareholders' agreements in their elected official bodies, and Finavia will process them in its general meeting in February-April 2020.
One-hour Turku-Helsinki Rail Link: Miikka Rainiala, Director of Unit, tel. +358 (0)29 534 2051
Finland Railway: Sanna Ruuskanen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 (0)29 534 2077
Other projects: Timo Kievari, Director of Unit, tel +358 (0)29 534 2620