Rail Baltica in Lithuania: First infrastructure objects are being developed in Jonava district

The shape of the main railway line is becoming visible in the Jonava district in Lithuania – a railway track and engineering structures are being built on a section of almost 30 km. Some of the engineering structures, such as animal crossings and one of the tunnels, are almost complete.

Construction works are being carried out on two sections of the line towards the Latvian border – 10 km on the Šveicarija-Žeimiai section and 17.7 km on Žeimiai-Šėta. The greatest progress was achieved in the first section – the construction of two animal crossings and the completion of the tunnel near the settlement of Čiūdai, while the construction of a bridge over the river Lankesa, and other works necessary for the installation of the railway embankment, are halfway done. Meanwhile, in the section Žeimiai-Šėta, almost all preparatory works for the construction of the railway embankment and engineering structures have been completed.

“Rail Baltica, a strategic project for both Lithuania and Europe, is at the stage of active construction. We are working on a project of such a unique scale that it requires non-standard solutions. Therefore, constant cooperation with contractors carrying out works is an integral part of our daily work”, says Vytis Žalimas, CEO of LTG Infra.

It is estimated that in the section from Šveicarija to Žeimiai, engineering structures will need an additional 1.5 million cubic meters of soil, and the structures themselves will need about 2.5 thousand tonnes of reinforcement and 25 thousand cubic meters of concrete.

According to Gediminas Gribulis, CEO of Fegda Group, challenges in this section are encountered in deep excavations, high embankments, and a high-water table: “Extremely large quantities of soil are being excavated during work, so the logistics are not the standard we are used to in conventional projects. There are currently around 300 people working in construction. As work volumes increase, the number of workers on construction sites will increase to 450.”

The new railway track and civil engineering structures are being built by the joint partners Fegda and Tilsta. The total value of the contracts is €165.54 million (excluding VAT).

Rail Baltica is the largest railway infrastructure project in the modern history of the Baltic States and will result in a fully electrified double-track European standard-gauge railway connecting Warsaw, Kaunas, Vilnius, Panevėžys, Riga, Pärnu and Tallinn. The total length of the Rail Baltica railway line in the Baltic States is 870 km: in Lithuania – 392 km, in Latvia – 265 km, and in Estonia – 213 km.

The Rail Baltica project is progressing steadily across Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, achieving notable milestones. In Estonia, construction tenders for over 70 km of mainline infrastructure and intersections, including the initiation of Ülemiste terminal construction, are underway in 2023. In Latvia, a significant step forward has been taken with the signing of the mainline construction agreement for a substantial 200km stretch, and preparations for the construction base are underway, marking the commencement of construction works on the initial 13km within the southern section. Meanwhile, ongoing works at Riga Central Station and the International Airport sections continue. In Lithuania, construction is underway on a 29.2km section, with procurement for the next 36km in progress, alongside tendering for embankment installation and access road construction. The Rail Baltica bridge over the Neris River is in progress, with preparatory stages for superstructure procurement across the 168km section nearing completion. The project is funded up to 85% by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility.

See the construction progress video (in Lithuanian language) here.