Three international consortiums qualify for second stage of Rail Baltica electrification project

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Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail has announced that three international candidates have qualified for the second stage of the Rail Baltica energy subsystem design and construction procurement project.

This is considered the largest railway cross-border electrification project in Europe since the subsystem will be deployed in a consolidated way across all 870km mainline from Tallinn in Estonia to the Lithuania-Poland border and from Kaunas to Vilnius in Lithuania.

Cobelec Rail Baltica (a partnership formed by Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios and Elecnor Servicios y Proyectos) from Spain, Alstom-BMGS-GE-Torpol (a partnership formed by BMGS, Bombardier Transportation Baltics, Alstom Transport, GE Energy Power Conversion France, and Torpol) from Latvia, France and Poland, and STC Baltic Electrification (a partnership formed by Colas Rail, Siemens Mobility, Siemens Mobility Oy Latvijas filiāle, TSO) from France, Germany and Latvia have qualified for the second stage of the tender, which is planned to commence in the following months with an aim to sign the contract by the end of 2023. 

Early last year, RB Rail selected an engineering service (ENE Engineer). The association of DB Engineering & Consulting; IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture; Italferr was announced as the winner in an international tender, carried out by RB Rail AS.

Crucial components of the energy subsystem include high voltage connection points to link traction power substations to the public high voltage electrical grids, traction power substations, an overhead contact system, energy control command system, and other components that are directly connected to the energy subsystem.

The European Union will co-finance up to 85% of the total eligible costs through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) with the remaining financing granted by the three Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

The Rail Baltica high-speed railway electrification procurement was launched in the middle of 2022 and is considered as the largest railway cross-border electrification project in Europe implemented as a single project. It will allow full compliance with safety and interoperability requirements, benefit from economies of scale, as well as maximize the benefits for the environment.

The scope of the project itself is impressive – overall 870 km length of the double-track leads to the need for more than 2,000 km of catenary system, around 4,350 tons of copper materials, 50,000 masts and 10 traction sub-stations to be installed.