On November 2nd, 2017 around 30 businesspeople interested in the economic potential of Rail Baltica gathered for a meeting in Tallinn at the Ülemiste Smart City, strategically located between the Lennart Meri International Airport and the future Rail Baltica passenger terminal.
Andrus Kaldalu, board member of Mainor Ülemiste City, emphasized in his presentation that the further developments of Ülemiste City and Rail Baltica are in a strong correlation.
„The Rail Baltic Passenger Terminal in Tallinn with its surroundings has to be well-planned as a city-space and an attractive gateway to the Estonian capital. Just like Riga is thoroughly planning its train and bus terminal, as well as the surrounding city areas, to be worth of Riga as a metropolis, so do we have to transform Ülemiste into the Gates of Estonia. This idea is expressed in the concept of the European Square, which is planned between the airport and the Rail Baltica terminal and what will complete the area into one attractive urban district”, said Kaldalu.
Kristjan Kaunissaare, the Rail Baltica co-ordinator at the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communications, provided an overview of the present status of the project and confirmed that recently a formal agreement has been reached with the Estonian Land Board to acquire all the necessary land for the new railway by the end of 2020. In total 809 plots in 14 different local governments will be acquired in Estonia to build Rail Baltica.
In comparison Kaunissaare mentioned that 1591 plots in Latvia and 1259 plots in Lithuania will be acquired. Furthermore Kaunissaare gave an overview of already conducted and forthcoming Rail Baltica related studies and tenders in Estonia.
The meeting was organised by the Rail Baltic Business Network, a non-profit organisation established to give entrepreneurs a better chance of express their opinion on the issues related to the new Rail Baltica railway, to engage business communities in the development of Rail Baltica and the mapping of the related business opportunities already from the early stages.
Rail Baltic Business Network accepted Ülemiste City as a new member of the organisation and changed its statutory name into Rail Baltica Business Network Estonia. RBBN now consists of 20 full members and one supporting member – Estonian Institute for Future Studies.