Turku One Hour Train Becomes West Railway – Planning Criteria Changed to Reduce the Cost by Nearly One Billion Euros
On 20 December 2023, an extraordinary general meeting of Turku One Hour Train Ltd decided to change the planning criteria of the project to reduce the cost of investment, expand the company’s line of business to include construction activities, and to apply for EU funding through the CEF programme for the construction stage. It was also decided that the name of the company would be changed to West Railway Ltd.
With the technical solutions approved by the general meeting, the construction cost of the new railway link between Helsinki and Turku can be reduced by nearly one billion euros while still retaining the original objectives of the project.
The shareholder decision means that the new railway link can be designed exclusively for the purposes of passenger trains, the maximum speed for trains on the track can be set at 200–300 km/h, and the section between Salo and Lohja can be implemented as single-track railway.
– The railway plans will be carried out in line with the existing CEF agreement, and the plans will be further updated during the construction planning stage. The changes will not significantly impact the schedule of the project or the commencement of construction, says Minna Forsström, Chair of the Board of Directors of Turku One Hour Train Ltd.
EU Funding To Be Sought For Construction Planning And Construction
The general meeting decided to apply for EU funding for the project through the CEF programme during the ongoing CEF2 funding period 2021–2027. Funding will be sought for construction planning for the entire railway link, as well as for the construction of the Espoo–Hista and Salo–Hajala sections.
– The changes to the planning criteria will significantly improve the fundability of the project and our access to EU funding. It will also reduce the detrimental environmental impact of the project, says Pekka Ottavainen, Managing Director at Turku One Hour Train Ltd.
The company estimates the investment cost for the entire railway link to reach 2.8–3.0 billion euros.
At the moment, the company’s mission is limited to the planning of the railway link. At the general meeting, the decision was taken to expand the mission to include construction activities as well. This decision will not affect the existing funding commitments of the partners or funding for the construction stage, which will be decided upon later.
Minna Forsström, Chair of the Board of Directors at Turku One Hour Train Ltd, tel. +358 (0)40 702 9896
Pekka Ottavainen, Managing Director at Turku One Hour Train Ltd, tel. +358 (0)400 261 097