Finland’s Prime Minister, Alexander Stubb, has said steps are being taken to progress the Helsinki City Rail Loop amidst reports that the project had been put on hold.
Stubb said the government was applying for EU funding through the TEN-T programme and had set aside €40 million to plan the new system.
In a statement issued following claims that the project had been shelved, the Finnish government said that negotiations were ongoing with local authorities on how to finance the project.
The new 7.8-kilometre underground loop railway beneath the city centre will include three new stations – Töölö, City Centre and Hakaniemi – and relieve pressure on Helsinki’s busy commuter network.
Stubb said: “The City Rail Loop is moving ahead in the right order. The government has decided today to apply for EU’s TEN-T support for the project. The next step is to include the project in the technical spending limits to be approved by the government in March.”
Construction of the rail line could start as early as 2016, the government has said.
In total, Finland plans to apply for €133.7 million from the EU, covering a range of rail and maritime projects.