RB Rail, the body overseeing the Rail Baltica project, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Solidarity Transport Hub (CPK), the company developing the high-speed network in Poland, and Czech infrastructure manager SŽ, to strengthen cooperation on the development of high-speed rail in northeast Europe.

The agreement, signed during the Railway Direction Days 2023 conference in Warsaw on January 18, lays out principles and further steps to strengthen cooperation.

Rail Baltica is a multi-national joint venture building a high-speed line connecting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. CPK includes the construction of a new airport and nearly 2000km of new lines across 12 routes, and the Czech Republic is also planning to build a high-speed network.

The parties will cooperate to promote and develop high-speed projects within their respective countries and across borders, ensuring that further knowledge and experience is shared in high-speed development, including traffic forecasting and modelling, the identification of new opportunities, joint planning timescales and alignment of preparatory works, investment models and planning and organising common efforts to promote high-speed rail at the European Union (EU) and international level.

“Considering the scale and impact of the Rail Baltica project not only in the Baltic States, but also the whole of Europe, we must recognise the benefits and use the full potential of strengthening cooperation with other megaprojects,” says RB Rail CEO and chairperson, Mr Agnis Driksna. “Not only can we learn from each other, but through this cooperation we can together enhance better solutions for mobility, connectivity, business development, and economic growth in northeast and central Europe by delivering sustainable, interoperable and resilient transport infrastructure that corresponds to the European Green Deal goals and Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy priorities of the EU.

The agreement builds on a cooperation agreement signed by RB Rail and CPK in June 2022.

“This is the unique, one-of-a-kind time in our common history when, functioning together in the region, we can create an unrivalled rail transport offering,” says CPK CEO, Mr Mikołaj Wild. “We are drawing lessons from high-speed rail investments in the west. As a result, our projects can bring about an economic domino effect, giving a boost to other industries and sectors.”

“The cooperation between railway infrastructure managers in the region is viewed by SŽ as a cornerstone for future rapid development,” says SŽ director of international affairs, Mr Radek Čech. “Faster travel between hubs, better service quality to passengers, improved safety as well as alleviating capacity on conventional rail for freight seem to be the major benefits that will boost economic growth and multi-lateral relationships across the region. Given the long-term nature of these projects we understand we must not miss this crucial momentum to invest now in the future, as the positive benefits will be enormous not only for our countries but also for the whole of Europe.”

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