Our new PM has just announced a new pet project as part of a government policy bible that promises to deliver a €6 billion saving in public services.
The project is a train line that will take passengers some 220km from Helsinki to Turku (a small city of 186 000 people) in just one hour. The official estimated costs is €3.7 billion which is not optimistic, but an outright joke. The cost will end up being nearer to €6 billion to €7 billion meaning that there will be no cost savings at all for this auterity government!
We already built a motorway from Helsinki to Turku at tremendous cost which never sees much traffic because few people who live in Turku work in Helsinki and nobody who lives in Helsinki works in Turku expect the you know who… (hint – who was that Prime Minister?).
Most people who go to Turku take the train or their car, and vice versa. Who needs a faster train when train fares are already most expensive than doing there in. your own car? and you can be sure that a fast train will cost you a divorce settlement or personal bankruptcy.
From a national perspective they should have build a faster train line 20 years ago, but someone in the government then loved Skanska and fast cars… The idea of building a fast train line is not very smart, but you get what you wish for at elections, even though you never really needed a new high speed train!