Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, has expressed his doubts about the feasibility of a proposed project to build an undersea rail tunnel between Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia.
“The Tallinn tunnel would be great for the entire country, but at the moment at least it isn’t realistic to assume that the project will be launched. The idea does represent a major opportunity: it’d link the Arctic Sea with Berlin,” he stated to Kauppalehti Optio on Thursday.
Raising public funding for the infrastructure project has proven difficult.
Meanwhile, Peter Vesterbacka, a former chief executive at Rovio, has launched a privately funded project to build a rail tunnel linking the two capitals through his development company, Finest Bay Area. Vesterbacka told Helsingin Sanomat in September that formal negotiations regarding the funding of the project have already begun.
“[The talks] will move forward as the business case is specified. We’ll make an announcement about the funding talks as soon as there’s something to tell,” he said to the newspaper.
Finest Bay Area has estimated that building the undersea railway tunnel will cost 13–20 billion euros. The excavations are currently slated to start in 2020, while traffic on the undersea railway is slated to commence in 2024.
The project, however, has stirred up concerns at the Embassy of Finland in Tallinn. Verkkouutiset has reported that a memo leaked to the public at the start of this year shows that the embassy is concerned about the ramifications of the simplified market rhetoric and grand promises of Vesterbacka.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi