A political agreement of the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding programme has been achieved in negotiations between EU institutions
The programme comes into effect in the following months.
How significant is this for the Finnish mainline?
We interviewed the Region Mayor, Mr. Esa Halme from the Council of Tampere Region. Halme acts as a chairperson of the Finnish Mainline Group.
“This new agreement means that the most significant part of the Finnish railway track becomes a part of the most important and strategic European transport network. In addition to that, it is the only part of the Finnish railway network that will have a direct connection to the rail network with the Western European gauge. The solution highlights the European commitment in developing the railway network and Finland’s obligations to take care of its part according to the decisions made in this decade.”
Have there been preparations in Finland to develop the main line, now when we have the main corridor status and enhanced funding possibilities?
“Yes and no. The maps and the message of the 12-year transportation plan supports the mainline but there are not any clear value statements or funding policies yet. There will be heavy decisions ahead in the future.”
What of this should be documented in the currently prepared national 12-year transport system plan and its investment programme?
“There should be a clear message of repairing and improving the mainline in the plan and in the investment programme. There should also be an affirmation of strong economical commitment to the basic improvement and development in this decade,” says Halme.