Why is the transport connection between Vaasa and Umeå so significant?
Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor is an EU-project designed to expand the connections between strong, fast growing, internationally important regions that ensure bustling ferry traffic (e.g. Ostrobotnia and Westerbothnia). The aim is to improve the transport routes in the Bothnian Corridor and support the existing multimodal TEN-T network, making use of multiple modes of transport (sea, road, railroad). Improved connections also enable economic development, bringing the regions closer to each other and to other regions within the EU. In other words, the Midway Alignment project will result in a secure, environmentally and economically sustainable transport system for goods and passengers traveling through the Bothnian Corridor.
Why is the project needed?
Midway Alignment unites many forms of transport. The aim is to create a stable connection between Finland and Sweden, thus generating connections all around the EU. Over the mountains and across the seas transportation is done through cooperation, utilizing logistics in a creative way. The following are important checkpoints along this vital part of the Nordic Logistics Corridor:
A NETWORK connecting Northern EU countries, Norway and other EU countries
4 ROADS of strategic importance (E12, E10, E4, E8)
Year-round MARITIME CONNECTION between Finland and Sweden
The railway line BOTNIABANAN (first part of the Bothnian Corridor)
What will the project do in practice?
Midway Alignment aims to
- DESIGN and build a new, environmentally friendly ferry for the Kvarken strait
- CONNECT the North to other parts of Europe
- DEVELOP and promote innovative solutions (technical, operational, environmental and safety related)
- IMPROVE port operations and regional logistic systems (environmentally and economically)
- SECURE long-term operational stability
What are the project’s benefits?
Although good transport alternatives already exist (e.g. the maritime connection between Finland and Sweden), their full potential is not put to use. Midway Alignment means to change that. When transport companies use ships and/or trains instead of driving around the Gulf of Bothnia, they save fuel, time and kilometres. The shift from road to sea and rail involves interconnecting two national rail networks and bypassing more than 800 km of existing road routes. Besides the obvious environmental benefits it has positive effects on safety, service quality and transport costs.
Moreover a reliable connection across the Kvarken strait and the Bothnian Corridor boosts trade and cooperation along the expanding multimodal road. Every link in the transport chain has to make the next one stronger in order to keep deliveries quick and stable. Midway Alignment aims to build a modern ship that meets the needs of both passengers and transport companies. New, innovative materials and technologies allow for a light, strong, energy efficient vessel that can run on alternative, environmentally friendly fuel.
What is the project’s timetable?
PHASE 1: 2012–2015
- Preparatory activities and feasibility studies
- Concept development (improving the transport link and land/port infrastructure)
- Designing the new ferry (environmentally friendly alternative fuels, sufficient icebreaking capacity) – Budget: MEUR 20.7
PHASE 2: 2016–2018
- Building the ferry, land-based infrastructure
- Construction (incl. alternative fuels transportation and storage)
- Implementation of the logistic system
How much will it cost?
The Budget for phase 1 is MEUR 20.7. Municipal, regional and national financers from Finland and Sweden, Private companies and European Union TEN-T Call funds finance the Midway Alignment project.