The estimated cost of the project is EUR 24 million.
Work on a long-awaited railway line that would link Finland’s network with the Swedish border town of Haparanda will begin when funding is secured, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency said on Monday.
The project will electrify the Laurila-Tornio-Haparanda section of the network, thereby opening up a cross-border railway connection between Finland and Sweden.
Haparanda station reopened for passenger trains in March this year after a 29-year hiatus and offers connections to long-distance trains in southern Sweden.
The Transport Agency’s project manager, Terhi Honkarinta, said that the plans are expected to be completed in the coming winter with the goal of getting a final approval by next summer.
“According to the current schedule, construction will start at the earliest at the end of 2022. Most of the work will take place in 2023 and 2024,” Honkarinta said in a press release from the agency.
The project aims to improve the cost-effectiveness of rail transport for industry and to enable passenger traffic by rail between Finland and Sweden as part of the trans-European TEN-T network.
In addition to electrifying the line, the project will also build safety equipment required for cross-border traffic, make changes to railway bridges required by the electrification and modify passenger facilities at Tornio railway station.
The total estimated cost is EUR 24 million
The project is a collaborative project between the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, the Finnish National Emergency Management Agency (NESA) and the Swedish Transport Administration.
The line would be an important way to ensure Finland’s security of supply, says NESA’s Chief Preparatory Officer Outi Nietola said and explained that in the event of a serious disruption in maritime transport between Finland and Sweden, a land road would help keep important goods entering Finland.
“In the Government’s decision on security of supply targets, the operation of logistics services and networks has been identified as specific priorities in securing the operational capacity of critical infrastructure,” said Nietola.