© Vitalez1988 | Dreamstime.com - Riga. Latvia

It might have been used by Graham Greene in the 1950s, but when I travelled the Baltic countries extensively in 2003, as they voted on EU accession, rail travel was virtually non-existent. The only viable connections between Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, as well as secondary cities such as Klaipeda, Kaunas and Ventspils, were by bus, and overland freight was the sole preserve of trucks. That is set to change however, after Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland signed an agreement for the biggest rail infrastructure project since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Some 85% of the funding for the $5bn project will come from the EU.

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