Rail Baltica impression

EUROPE: A joint venture of the German national railway’s DB Engineering & Consulting business, Spanish national operator RENFE Operadora and consultancy Ineco is to act as shadow operator for the Rail Baltica project.

The €8m contract was signed by Rail Baltica project promoter RB Rail and the joint venture on August 30. It runs for six years, with the ability to extend the term until the start of train operations on the future 1 435 mm gauge line.

The shadow operator will provide RB Rail with consultancy services including recommendations on the design, operation and maintenance of the railway infrastructure. It will develop operating, maintenance and commercialisation models for the rail facilities, and update implementation and operational plans.

This will include supporting the development of plans for high speed, regional and overnight passenger trains as well as freight services.

‘The nature of the shadow operator is to oversee the requirements of the Rail Baltica users’ from all three Baltic States and beyond, and to provide solutions from the operator’s perspective’, said Burhan Erkan, Executive Director, Baltic States at DB Engineering & Consulting.

RB Rail Chief Technical Officer Marc-Philippe el Beze said ‘this is a significant and strategic step towards ensuring Rail Baltica’s future operation according to the highest safety and interoperability standards’.

He said work to define the future infrastructure model is underway with final decisions still to be taken, and the shadow operator would provide ’an optimal railway operation and maintenance model along with tailored operational concept, various technical strategies, plans and work procedures to meet future infrastructure management, train operation and users’ needs’.