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

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