Friday June 21, 2024

Finland reconsiders switch to European rail gauge: minister

Published : 22 May 2024, 02:39

  DF News Desk
Transport and Communications Minister Lulu Ranne. Photo: Finnish government /LVM by Fanni Uusitalo.

Finland is considering adopting the European standard railroad gauge, Transport and Communications Minister Lulu Ranne said on Tuesday at a logistics meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), reported Xinhua.

"We will make an investigation on what schedule and technology and with what money it would be possible to move to this European track width one step at a time," Ranne said. She said that the European width would help improve Finnish supply safety, as reported by national broadcaster Yle.

In 2022, Finland declined an initiative from the European Commission aimed at introducing the European gauge, maintaining its current rail gauge, which is nine centimeters wider and was established during the inception of railroad construction in Finland in the 1850s.

The European standard gauge measures 1435 millimeters. Presently, the "railroad border" lies between Finland and Sweden, with the sole railroad connection from Finland to the west passing through the city of Tornio, situated at the northern tip of the Gulf of Bothnia. In the southeast, Finnish rail links with Russia via Vainikkala.