The European capitals of Helsinki and Tallinn are less than one hundred kilometers apart. However, if you want to travel this route by train, you have to change trains several times and leave the European Union. So far, therefore, the ferry is the most popular means of transport to cross the Baltic Sea between the two cities. But the Finnish founder Peter Vesterbacka wants to change this and plans the longest railway tunnel in the world. This is to consist of two tubes, run approximately one hundred kilometers below the sea and provide a total of four parallel tracks space. The construction costs are currently estimated at around 15 billion euros. A concrete timetable already exists: Exactly on December 24, 2024, the first train with passengers should pass through the tunnel. Tickets can already be booked for 50 euros per trip.
An artificial island is also planned
The startup behind it is called FinEstBay Area Group. The financing, however, comes from China. Or, more precisely, from a fund called Touchstone Capital Partners. He has already signed a letter of intent. Accordingly, the construction work should be carried out by three Chinese companies. The schedule is extremely ambitious. For the companies not only have to dig a tunnel underneath the sea, but also create an artificial island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. There, first building materials and waste are to be stored there. Later, the construction of offices is planned. Among other things, with funds from the European Union, these plans have already undergone a feasibility study. The result brought good news and bad news for the FinEstBay Area Group.
The tunnel could massively improve the connection of Tallinn
Thus, the experts stated: From a technical point of view, the plans are basically feasible. So it is not just a matter of imagination – even though further studies are needed to check the details of the plans. On the other hand, it was also stated: The cost of construction should be so high that an economic operation is not possible. The Estonian government also sees the project rather critically and, above all, wants to prevent the construction of the tunnel from being started, but never completed. Basically, Tallinn would benefit enormously from the tunnel. So you need by plane from Helsinki to Beijing only seven and a half hours. From Estonia, however, the flight takes eleven hours, including change.
Via: Süddeutsche Zeitung