FinEst Link

Finnish Estonian Transport Link

P3 Well-connected region

3.1. Improved transport flows of people and goods

Southern Finland - Estonia

01.08.2016 - 31.07.2018

€1 298 383

€1 027 537

Project Summary:

The FinEst Link project focuses on the vastly growing transport connection between Finland - Estonia and Helsinki – Tallinn, which forms a unique cross-border case of twin cities in the EU. As part of the twin city concept a fixed link – a railway tunnel that would reduce the travel time to only 30 minutes – has been an ambitious vision in the two countries since 20 years.

The FinEst Link project takes a systematic fact-finding approach to the vision of a Helsinki-Tallinn fixed link and carries out a feasibility study that consists of the economic and technical analysis and benchmarking to other important fixed link projects in the EU. The project has an open information dissemination policy and all results during the project’s lifecycle are distributed widely to stakeholders and actively discussed in various stakeholder events. As part of the discussion of the technical feasibility of the fixed link, the project invites developers of new technologies to present their solutions and economic standpoints of a fixed link. As a final result the project will make a recommendation of the possible continuation of the vision of a tunnel towards an infrastructure planning project.

The FinEst Link project builds on several earlier studies made in the Helsinki-Tallinn context, for instance HT-Transplan, as well as the pre-feasibility study of the fixed link, TalsinkiFIX. 

Lead Partner

Uudenmaan Liitto

Country: FI

Partner budget: 372.883 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 279.662 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Helsingin kaupunki

Country: FI

Partner budget: 183.000 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 137.250 EUR ERDF

Tallinna Transpordiamet

Country: EE

Partner budget: 161.500 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 137.275 EUR ERDF

Harju Maavalitsus

Country: EE

Partner budget: 171.500 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 145.775 EUR ERDF


Country: FI

Partner budget: 205.000 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 153.750 EUR ERDF

Eesti Majandus- ja Kommunikatsiooniministeerium

Country: EE

Partner budget: 204.500 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 173.825 EUR ERDF

Expected results

The Project’s contribution to the result indicators have to be seen in long perspective. Setting preconditions to reach the target of removing the bottleneck between Finland and Estonia in the long run when the fixed link and the fast rail connection is in operation, will reduce travel time of passengers from 2,5 hours to even 30 minutes, i.e. ultimately 80% reduction. Similarly the capacity in cargo transportation is very big in shortening delivery times when the fixed train link is in operation. The fixed link traffic is expected to triple in the first 10 years from 5 to 15 million trips and ferry transportation is expected to maintain its position and volumes. Potentially 25 000 daily commuters, 5 million business and leisure trips, 1.3 million passenger cars and 8.4 million tons of cargo is expected after first 10 years of operation.

The impact on transport flows of goods can be considerable also in short run. A clear prospect of the fixed link encourages transport operators to develop their offers and transportation chains based on Rail Baltica (operative for cargo in 2017).

The results of the studies, assessments and benchmarks conducted in the project, and the participatory process of stakeholders pave the way for the next steps in the long process of decision making, planning, and designing the fixed link. These activities are required as part of the comprehensive transport assessment and a plan which are the main result of the Project for the political decision-makers.

The plan and strategy for decision-makers made by the Project will reduce uncertainty on long term transport and mobility options and developments in the cross-border region. A strategy and decision-making without well-grounded conclusions based on feasibility studies on the fixed link would not reduce risks and uncertainties faced by the investors in the transport sector. By reducing uncertainty the project contributes in short term improvements in passenger transports.