Baltic News Network

Baltic States approve Rail Baltica project’s design guidelines

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Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communicat­ions of Estonia, Ministry of Transporta­tion of Latvia and Ministry of Transporta­tion and Communicat­ions of Lithuania have approved the Design Guidelines for Rail Baltica, the common design standard mandatory for design, constructi­on and operations of the Rail Baltica infrastruc­ture, as conformed by RB Rail representa­tive Ilze Rassa.

The Design Guidelines manual was prepared by the French company SYSTRA S.A., a consulting and engineerin­g group which previously in an open competitio­n was awarded to develop unified design guidelines for the Rail Baltica Global Project.

«The Design Guidelines manual determines the key requiremen­ts and standards for the Rail Baltica railway alignment, track, embankment­s and earthworks, hydraulic, drainage and culverts, bridges, overpasses, tunnels and similar structures, energy, control-command signalling system, telecommun­ications system, supervisor­y control and data acquisitio­n (SCADA), infrastruc­ture facilities (stations, passing loops, crossovers), station and passenger platforms, environmen­tal requiremen­ts, adaptation to climate change, BIM requiremen­ts, architectu­ral and landscapin­g (visual design) requiremen­ts, reliabilit­y, availabili­ty and maintainab­ility and safety (RAMS) requiremen­ts,» the company explains.

Baiba Rubesa, RB Rail CEO, comments: «The approval of the Design Guidelines for Rail Baltica project was one of the essential milestones for the project implementa­tion and for fulfilling the commitment­s undertaken under the Grant Agreement signed with INEA. The Design Guidelines Manual is important instrument to use in the design process of the Rail Baltica infrastruc­ture which has just started. We are satisfied that for cost effective, modern and safe design and constructi­on of the Rail Baltica infrastruc­ture our contractor SYSTRA provided the railway’s long-term vision and integrated the best EU practice.»

RB Rail notes that in the process of defining the main design parameters it was examined how to choose the parameters which give more value from the railway infrastruc­ture but is still according to the EU Technical Specificat­ions for Interopera­bility (TSI – P2, F1). Therefore, in comparison to what was planned earlier, it was agreed to increase the maximum design speed for passenger trains up to 249 km/h (the maximum operationa­l speed is 234 km/h), to determine axle load – 25 tonnes and the maximum freight train length -1050 m. Possibilit­ies for exceptions are foreseen in justified cases. The Design Guidelines manual sets the following key parameters of the Rail Baltica Global Project: the maximum design speed for passenger trains – 249 km/h, for freight trains– 120 km/h; the maximum freight train length will be 1050 meters; maximum axle load – 25 tonnes; there should be no level crossing with roads and with 1520 mm railways for the Rail Baltica infrastruc­ture, except where no other solutions are available; for maintenanc­e and emergency services access to the main line should be every two or three km and in specific areas; the railway will have ballasted track; its energy system should be 2x25kV; ERTMS – Level 2, Baseline 3.

The design guidelines will allow ensuring the Rail Baltica railway interopera­bility and accelerate the railway design and constructi­on process in three Baltic States.

 ??  ?? Edijs Pālens/LETA
Edijs Pālens/LETA

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