Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy supports large-scale rail projects

Press release from the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications

On 13 February 2020, central and local government authorities and Finavia Corporation reached agreement on establishing project companies for promoting the Finland Railway link and the high-speed rail link between Helsinki and Turku as well as on the financing shares of the parties involved.

The Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy discussed the establishment of the project companies at its meeting on 3 March 2020.

The Ministerial Committee was in favour of the central government, represented by the Minister of Transport and Communications, adopting the shareholder agreements of the Finland Railway project company and the high-speed rail link between Helsinki and Turku and the establishment of the project companies together with minority shareholders. The project companies would be responsible for the planning related to the projects as well as its funding until the construction phase.

The Finland Railway project company would provide preliminary studies on two alternative lines: a new route from Helsinki-Vantaa airport to Tampere and development of the current main line between Riihimäki and Tampere. The central government’s position on the solution to be used in the planning would be discussed and formed in the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy after the preliminary study was completed.

The financing commitments of the central and local governments and Finavia would together cover the estimated costs of the planning that is required in order to reach the construction phase. They would also cover other expenses necessary for the operation of the project company. The contribution of the central government would not exceed 51% of the total amount of the financial commitments.

In terms of the local government and Finavia, the shareholder agreements will be discussed by the competent decision-making bodies in February–April 2020.

The companies are to be established as soon as possible after the necessary decisions have been taken and the shareholder agreements have been signed.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has initiated a comparative study on the routing of the high-speed eastern connection and the improvement of the existing rail network. The study will be carried out in cooperation with the operators in the area. It will be completed this spring, after which the readiness to initiate project company negotiations will be discussed with regional actors.  In accordance with the Government Programme, project companies for high-speed rail connections will be treated equally.

Alongside the project companies, the functioning of the current rail network will be ensured. In accordance with its programme, the Government has launched projects to improve the main rail line and the connecting lines. This work will continue as planned.

Matti Niemi, Special Adviser, tel. +358 40 586 7234
Sanna Ruuskanen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 376 2377

Date of publication: 20 Feb 2020

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