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Alpine Railway

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Currently the connection between Tallinn and Helsinki is operated by ferries - slow and without any rails aboard the ships. In addition these ships are not the "green" way of transportation any more than airplanes.   

The distance between Helsinki Finland and Tallinn Estonia is only about 90 kilometers, out of which about 80 kilometers sea of Finnish Gulf. There have long been plans on connecting these population centers together by land as the current connections by sea are insufficient. There are about 30 connections between Helsinki and Tallinn currently. The time it takes to cross the distance cities by boat does not enable commuting. 

However, if a tunnel was bored to the granite of the Finnish gulf, maybe with bridges at both ends, this distance would take only 35 - 40 minutes on a train. The starting point for the tunnel should on the southern side of Helsinki, where all the hundreds of trains have their terminus every day. Some of these could be extended to Tallinn or even further. 

There is also a way round te Finnish guld, but that way the 35 - 40 minute trip would currently take about 10 hours and involve Russian territory. With two border inspections for the train this would not be practical, even if the Russian Railways would be favorable on the train. Current 2 hours by boat might be a temporary means to get the traffic started. Any ferry could easily carry coaches / EMU from Helsinki to Tallinn.    

Eurostar Capitals class 373 in Calais

The tunnel needed for effcient integration of Finland to the European Union countries has been in drawings for decades and currently the politicians are favorable for the connection. Mayors of both Helsinki, Jussi Pajunen, and Tallinn have been very favorable for all cooperation between the cities, and there was earlier Balti rail society to take project further. This was started by the City of Helsinki retired Director Martti Asunmaa.   

As always with major infrastructure projects, the funding has been hard to find to get started. However, the project is in all parties interest and the sum needed for construction of the connection could be raised from the involved EU member countries, European Union itself and maybe even partly from Russia, as the St Petersburg - Berlin connection would be easiest to create through Baltic states.            


Tallinn has improved its connections with the rest of the Estonia, even with the old Russian period rolling stock, that is getting fewer in numbers. Picture by John McKey 2007.       


Sources:, the net, ...    

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   Main > Reference EuropeRail Baltica Railroad Reference 2004 - 2014  -  Created 17.1.2009  John McKey, Updated 24.12.2014