The FinEst Link Project recently published the results of a feasibility study investigating the possibility of connecting Finland and mainland Europe by a railway tunnel. The proposal put forward the idea of connecting Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia, via an underwater tunnel, and found the connection could bring both social and economical benefits to both nations, as well as the rest of Europe.
Helsinki and Tallinn combined are an economical area of nearly 1.5 million people, and form an economical and logistic hotspot that is constantly growing. Over the past 15 years, movement and trade between Helsinki and Tallinn have been increasing, and individually both cities have experienced higher levels of freights, commuters and tourists. Recently it has been recorded that over 8 million people cross the Gulf of Finland annually, with around 20% of these being tourists from other countries. Cross-border operations have become part of everyday life, with tens of thousands of commuters crossing between Helsinki and Tallinn every week.
The proposed tunnel would be built with the aim of improving transport links between the two cities and deepening economical co-operation. The studies so far have found the railway to be an economically viable investment, and could potentially be realised without hardly any taxpayer money. Not only would the tunnel deepen connections between two major capital cities, but also improve connections between Finland and mainland Europe.
The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications has recently set up a task force to examine the far-reaching economic impacts of the tunnel, financing possibilities and further logistics. The findings of the task force are scheduled to be released later this year.