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Morning departure to Tallinn  by ship from the port of Helsinki.

Feasibility studies for the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel to begin this month

The consultants for performing the feasibility study and analysing the technical solution for the Tallinn-Helsinki fixed railroad link have been revealed. The studies, in the course of which the cost, payback time and possible technical solution for an underwater rail tunnel shall be established, will begin this February.

The feasibility and wider impact analysis of the fixed link will be performed by a consortium comprised of Ramboll Finland, Sito OY, Strafica, Urban Research TA, Pöyry Finland, and Skepast&Puhkim. The consortium will establish whether construction of a rail tunnel is justified or if the focus in the longer-term perspective should be on shipping traffic and the development of the ports of Tallinn and Helsinki.

A feasibility calculation and a wider impact analysis will be prepared for both scenarios. During the study, a thorough background analysis will be performed. The impact of the fixed link on the economies of Estonia and Finland as well as the whole of Europe will be investigated, including demographic developments, as well as social, regional and economic outlooks in both countries. Also, a traditional feasibility study will be prepared and assessment given to the volumes of passengers and trade. The study will also focus on the current shipping traffic and connections with the ports in Tallinn as well as in Helsinki.

An investigation of the technical concept and economic assessment will be conducted by a consortium comprised of Sweco, WSP, Hendrikson & Ko, and Amberg Engineering, from Switzerland, who also participated in the design works of the Gotthard and Brenner tunnels.

The completed study shall focus on the technical and economic feasibility of the underwater rail tunnel. With the help of consultants, the possible route of the tunnel as well as the locations of stops and depots will be established, also a risk and security analysis will be performed, the environmental impact of the tunnel assessed, possibilities for connecting the tunnel with the public transport network and the impact on the city space examined. The study will also provide valuable information in terms of administration and maintenance costs of the tunnel and rail transport.

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