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Finland seeks 66m euros of EU funding to plan new rail links

The Parliamentary Finance Committee endorsed the European Commission funding application on Thursday.

Juna odottaa lähtöä Turun rautatieasemalla.
Yöjunaan haluavan pitää matkata Tampereelle tai Helsinkiin. Arkistokuva. Image: Kalle Mäkelä / Yle
Yle News

Finland has applied for EU funding to start planning several new rail projects, including one-hour train services between Helsinki and Turku and between the capital and Tampere.

Finland also wants funding to plan an Espoo rail expansion project, for improvements to the Pasila-Riihimäki rail line and for a Vantaa tram line.

Parliament's Finance Committee approved the funding application on Thursday.

Last week central government and municipalities reached consensus on setting up a project company to plan the so-called Suomi-rata, a one-hour train service between Helsinki and Tampere as well as the one-hour service to from Helsinki to Turku. They also agreed on how much different bodies would pay towards the cost of the planning stage.

The Transport and Communications Ministry applied for 37.5 million euros in EU funding for rail connection development between Helsinki and Turku. The overall cost of planning that line is estimated at 75 million euros.

In all, Finland is asking for some 66 million euros for different rail projects.

Government also wants to improve connections between Espoo, Salo and Turku with a direct line between Espoo and Salo and expanded capacity between Salo and Turku. New inter-city infrastructure between Helsinki and Turku could allow better services to other towns such as Kirkkonummi, Lohja and Vihti.

A decision on the application is expected this summer.

The money is set to come from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility programme, which funds energy, transport and digital projects to promote inter-connectivity between EU countries. It is part of the Trans-European Transport Network policy (Ten-T).

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