Kadri Simson, Estonian minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, and Uldis Augulis, Latvian minister of Transport, expressed the wish to further develop railway connections between the two countries. This includes both Rail Baltica and developing Tartu-Valga/ Valka-Riga rail route.
„In the next few years, Rail Baltica is without doubt one of the most important transport infrastructure projects for Estonia and Latvia, but the project will not be successful unless we develop already existing transport connections,“ said Kadri Simson.
„Rail Baltica will open a whole new set of opportunities for work and travel between Baltic states, but by developing already existing railway connections, we can improve the competitiveness of regional areas in South Estonia and North Latvia already now,“ explained minister Simson.
In order to develop existing railway connection, the Tallinn-Tartu-Valga/Valka-Riga railway connection will be re-evaluated. By developing this line we can improve the mobility of people and goods in South Estonia and North Latvia.
Developing Tartu-Riga railway connection is also important for Rail Baltica.
There is two sets of trains operating between Valka and Riga in a day, and on average, 1000 passengers cross the Estonian-Latvian border in a month.
In addition, Estonian and Latvian ministers are considering the possibility of Kiev-Riga railway to be extended toTartu and Tallinn. Kiev-Riga Railway is expected to begin service in 2019.
The members of Estonian and Latvian government met today in Riga, Latvia, to celebrate 100 years anniversary of both countries.
by Mihkel Loide