Rail Baltica Selects Electrification Partner for 870km High-Speed Line

The Rail Baltica joint venture, RB Rail AS, has chosen an engineering service provider for the project’s energy subsystem deployment. The winner of the international tender is DB Engineering & Consulting together with partners IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture, S.A.U. and Italferr S.p.A.

The Rail Baltica line will be electrified (25kV AC) over its entire length of 870km double-track high-speed line. The contract is worth 23.2 million euros and the project will run for around ten years. DB Engineering & Consulting said this project was “the largest single procured electrification project worldwide, connecting three different countries with a single piece of infrastructure”.

Marc-Philippe El Beze, Chief Technical Officer, RB Rail AS, said:

“This is an important milestone for the Rail Baltica Global project. By signing the contract, we are starting the work on one of the most challenging railway electrification projects in Europe. With standard high-speed rail electrification projects ranging at about 300 km, Rail Baltica with its 870 km long line is unique. The deployment of the energy subsystem for the entire Rail Baltica Global line in a consolidated way will allow to fully ensure safety and interoperability requirements as well as maximise the benefits of economies of scale.”

The energy (ENE) engineer (the companies listed above) will first conduct a number of technical and economic studies to prepare for procuring the electrification design and build tender. During the implementation phase the ENE engineer will act as FIDIC engineer, supervising the design and construction, and performing testing and commissioning duties until the end of the defect notification period.

The scope of the energy subsystem contract for the full Rail Baltica project includes the high-voltage feeding lines that will connect the traction power substations to the national high-voltage electricity grid, the traction power substations, the overhead contact system, and the energy control command system.

RB Rail AS says the environmental impact of the line and the energy used for the train traction have always been a discussion point, even before the European Green Deal. Therefore, RB Rail AS says that it is aiming for 100 percent of the energy used to power the trains to come from renewable sources.

“We are proud to have committed to use 100% of renewable energy to power Rail Baltica. This is a major step in our goal to build the Rail Baltica project as an environmentally sustainable infrastructure. Efficient use of renewable energy to power Rail Baltica is the key element which will make rail transport environmentally friendly and will provide an alternative to the road and air transport in the Baltic States. We look forward to cooperation with the Baltic states’ relevant institutions in achieving this ambitious goal.”

Commercial operations are to begin on the Rail Baltica line in 2026.

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