Finland wants to derail European Union policy on width of rail tracks

Finland has wider gauge track than rest of Europe Credit: LVM Twitter

FINLAND wants to derail European Union policy on width of rail tracks due to the excessive cost involved in changing the country’s gauge.

In December 2021, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Regulation on Union guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

On July 27 2022, the Commission published a new proposal amending the proposal for the TEN-T Regulation in order to respond to the changed global political situation in order to ensure that troops and military hardware can be quickly and easily mobilised across the Union.

The Commission’s proposed amendment includes difficult obligation for Finland as according to the proposal, new rail connections should be developed with a European standard nominal track gauge (1,435 mm) and also a migration plan should be developed towards this European standard nominal track gauge for all existing lines, with the exception of the lines where this is not justified based on a cost-benefit analysis.

Due to historic reasons, namely trade with its eastern neighbour, Finland’s track gauge is the same as Russia’s — 1,524mm — which is 89mm wider than the European standard.

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka considers that Finland should be given a derogation from the requirement to migrate to a European nominal track gauge and said “It is quite clear that Finland’s special conditions must be taken into account and our existing rail gauge must be maintained.

“Changing the rail gauge would not be economically or operationally feasible. Decisions of this importance should not be made hastily; instead, their impacts should be properly scrutinised.”

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    • phil

      05 August 2022 • 12:09

      1.52mm, lol that’s off by 1000

      Reply
      • Guest Writer

        05 August 2022 • 12:13

        I used the European style of a . rather than , but have now changed – thank you for your observation.

        Reply

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