Rail Baltica.

LITHUANIA: The Ministry of Transport & Communications has selected its preferred route for the Polish border to Kaunas (Jiesia) section of the future 1 435 mm gauge Rail Baltica corridor.

Four options had been studied by a joint venture of Sweco Lietuva and DB Engineering & Consulting, and following consultation the ministry has selected option 6A, the greenfield construction of a line bypassing Marijampolė, Kazlų Rūda and Kalvarija.

The travel time from Jiesia to the border is expected to be around 19 min, with journey times of 3½ h from Kaunas to Warszawa and just over 4 h between the two capitals.

The existing less direct, single track and low-speed 1 435 mm gauge cross-border line which has been upgraded and extended to the Kaunas Intermodal Terminal will continue to be used. The ministry said this line is important for military mobility, providing access to the Kazlų Rūda training area.

‘In order to be able to operate this track at full capacity, it is planned to apply for funding in the near future for a traffic management system that would significantly increase the number of trains that can pass, both to meet the growing demand for freight and to allow faster passenger traffic to Warszawa’, said Arenijus Jackus, Rail Baltica Coordination Manager at Lithuanian infrastructure manager LTG Infra on May 12.