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A working group consisting of representatives from Finland and Norway will publish a report in January with proposals for further stages and a timetable for the implementation of the Arctic Railway project. This was reported on Friday by the press service of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland.
“The Sami Parliament of Finland requested negotiations on the draft report. Negotiations between him and the ministry will be held on December 21. Therefore, the report will not be published until January, ”the press service of the Ministry of Transport said. “This report is a preliminary study of the issue, no decisions regarding the construction or selection of the final route were made either in Finland or in Norway,” they added.
In the spring, a working group appointed by the ministry and consisting of Finnish and Norwegian experts began studying the passage of the railway from Rovaniemi in Finland to Kirkenes in Norway. The agenda included, among other things, the impact of the project on the lives of indigenous peoples of the north, the Sami, reindeer herding, the environment, as well as issues such as the process of obtaining permits, the cost of the project, the structure of its financing.
The route of the railway through Oulu (Finland), Rovaniemi (Finland) to Kirkenes (Norway), according to the Ministry of Transport, turned out to be the most advantageous from the point of view of logistics – transportation of wood and minerals mined in the region and accessibility. The length of the tracks should be 445-465 km, and it is expected to open a new route in 2030. According to specialists, investments in this railway would be about 2.9 billion euros.
According to the Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland, Anne Berner, “The Arctic Railway is an important European project that would connect the Arctic part of Europe with its main territory”. She is confident that the rail link would improve the economic conditions for the northern regions.
In total, the experts studied five options, one of which was the Kemijärvi route (Finland) – Murmansk (Russia). According to the director of the department of the Finnish Transport Agency Matti Levomyaki, “all these options are technically possible,” but there are significant differences between them in financial terms and in terms of environmental impact.
Source: Maritime News of Russia