Finland to seek EU funds for the one-hour Turku-Helsinki rail link
The Government will also ask for European funding to improve the connection between the capital city and Tampere.
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.
According to the ministry of Transport and Communications, 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 37.5 million euros to develop rail traffic between Helsinki and Turku. The total budget for the planning phase is 75 million euros.
The Finnish Government considers the Helsinki-Turku link 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 and enable fast long-distance traffic between both cities.
It would also contribute to 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 11 million euros for the planning of the Espoo city rail link. The project's total budget is 22 million euros. As a part of the project, the track, bridges and a tunnel need to be planned.
The Espoo city rail link is also 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 also seek 11.7 million euros to develop the Helsinki-Tampere track. The project's total budget is 23.4 million euros. 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.
Finnish Government says 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 150 million euros.