The European Union has awarded €58.3 million funding for five rail and port projects in Finland. The money is part of an overall €2.2 billion investment in EU transport infrastructure announced as part of the Connecting Europe Facility CEF.
“I am very pleased with the sum awarded to Finland, which is one of the biggest ones we have ever received in the CEF application rounds” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (SDP).
“The proposed rail projects in different parts of Finland provide effective means to support climate recovery. Projects will be launched as early as in August” he says.
The five railway projects which receive funding assistance include a one-hour train link from Turku to Helsinki which gets €37.5 million from the EU, for a total planning budget of €75 million. The ministry says some of the funding will be used to develop a “shortcut” between Espoo and Salo, which would improve commuter connections also to Kirkkonummi, Lohja and Vihti.
An urban railway project in Espoo gets €11 million EU money for it’s total project budget of €22 million for design and construction engineering which includes railway, bridge and tunnel work.
Improvements on the Pasila to Riihimäki track get €6.5 million for work that needs to be done before rail services between Helsinki and Tampere can then be improved later.
There’s also €1.68 million for planning improvements on the Kouvola-Kotka-Hamina rail connection. There’s currently a lot of freight trains using that route to move cargo between Kouvola and the ports at Kotka and Hamina, and the existing infrastructure doesn’t give much capacity for increasing rail transport.
And €1.6 millioin will go towards the budget for developing northern rail transport services between Oulu and Laurila, Tornio and Haaparanta. Part of this project’s goals are to provide passenger rail services between Finland and Sweden.
There’s also funding for ports in Helsinki and Naantali, with €12.37 million awarded to improve energy efficiency, develop an automated system for vessel anchorage, and make alterations to ship loading and unloading ramps.