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The City Rail Loop-line and EU subsidies: economical with the truth

Tommy Pohjola, editor of Finland's Swedish language newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet, has obtained among other things, material regarding the Finnish State's application for EU funding towards the City Rail Loop-line (Pisara). As I already suspected, their case was presented to make the best image for aiding the project.

Pisara certainly is “painted" beautifully (p. 2 ) (especially since recent studies have limited it to, at most, a regional project):

“The Global Project is the improvement of the Mediterranean–Scandinavian corridor in Finland. The Global Project in Helsinki is located in the node of two core network corridors: the Mediterranean–Scandinavian corridor and the North Sea–Baltic corridor, serving as a connection between Helsinki Airport and the centre of Helsinki and making the flow of passenger transport smoother to Helsinki’s harbours. Helsinki is an initial point for several Corridor sections mentioned in Annex I.2 to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013. It also links to the improvement of the section Helsinki–Oulu which is mentioned in the Annex I.3 to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 as a section on the Core Network.- - -”

Their haste is great (p. 19), despite information from the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation YLE that the Finnish Transport Agency have proposed postponement of the City Rail Loop-line until the next decade, in the application it is stated:

“- - - The project is mature and ready to be started in 2015. Described action is of vital importance for smooth traffic flows along the entire axis and would, if not completed within the agreed period time, reduce the benefits drawn from investments made on other sections of the axis.”

The cost-benefit ratio - now drastically reduced to under 1.0, is mentioned (p. 29-31), but not the fact that the ratio was 1.54 in the past. A more detailed Annex on the cost-benefit ratio is also without mention of the project’s negative cost benefits. The meaning of the figures (and the break-even value of 1.0) must again be understood in order to seek it from a separate Appendix. One finds no mention of the Finnish Transport Agency’s calculated social economic loss of 458 million euros (p. 48) in the application materials that we have seen.

"Honesty is the best policy" is probably a well-known adage. In English, "economical with the truth" is likely to have been a more familiar phrase to the drafters of the City Rail Loop-line EU funding application.

This is English language version of my previous blog.

Regards, Kalevi Kämäräinen

Chairman, Finnish Rail Passengers’ Association

http://www.rautatiematkustajat.fi/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rautatiematkustajat/158345494253217

https://www.facebook.com/groups/108232592543581/

P.S. The most interesting links to the application material suffered from link rot for unknown reasons yesterday. I’ll provide working links if they come available.

 The application material examined (D = dead link, W = working link):

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/2014_application_form_part_b_The%20Helsinki%20Rail%20Loop.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/2014_application_form_part_c_The%20Helsinki%20Rail%20Loop.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/2014_application_form_part_d_final_draft_Helsinki%20Rail%20Loop.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Annex%2014.%20Cost-Benefit%20Analysis_Helsinki%20Rail%20Loop.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/proposal_2014-FI-TM-0145-W.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%201.%20EIA_report.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%202.%20EIA%20programme.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%203.%20%20Consultation%20with%20authorities%20and%20public,%20EIA%20report.pdf W

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%204.%20Consultation%20with%20authorities%20and%20public,%20EIA%20programme.pdf W

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%205.%20SEA%20summary%202015.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%206.%20SEA%20assessment%202011_abstract.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%207.%20Acceptance%20of%20the%20SEA%2029.3.2011.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%208.%20Acceptance%20of%20the%20SEA%2019.4.2011%20by%20municipalities.pdf W

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%209.%20Natura%202000%20areas.pdf W

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%209.%20Natura%202000%20areas.pptx W

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%2010.%20Map%20of%20the%20Helsinki_rail_loop.pdf W

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%2011.%20Acceptance%20of%20the%20SEA%2019.4.2011%20by%20municipalities.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%2011.%20Map%20with%20coordinates.pdf W

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%2012.%20GIS%20City_rail_loop_railway.zip D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%2013.%20Summary%20of%20the%20General%20Plan.pdf D

http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/Liitteet/Annex%2015.%20General%20guidelines%20for%20the%20appraisal%20of%20transport%20network%20projects%20in%20Finland%20%E2%80%93%20Executive%20summary%20of%20the%20benefit-cost%20analysis.pdf D

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Kalevi Kämäräinen

It seems that all links are dead now and only one of them has "resurrected" elsewhere. This
http://files.strafica.fi/CEFpisara/2014_applicatio... works now as
http://portal.liikennevirasto.fi/portal/page/porta...

Regards, Kalevi Kämäräinen

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