Lithuanian minister on Rail Baltica trains: keeping construction on schedule is key now

  • 2024-03-29
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Following Latvia's call on Lithuania and Estonia to agree on joint procurement of Rail Baltica trains, Transport Minister Marius Skuodis said on Friday that the key focus now should be on the construction of the European standard-gauge railway.

"The most important thing now is to concentrate on the construction of the tracks," Skuodis told reporters in Kaunas. "We need to show progress."

"We need to scale up the works even further and faster, not only in Lithuania but also in Latvia and Estonia. I stress to my colleagues – let's concentrate to ensure that the work progresses and any existing delays are minimized," he said. 

Skuodis' comment came after the Latvian Transport Ministry said on Thursday that the Baltic countries should jointly procure trains for the railway line. 

According to the minister, the first Rail Baltica trains could reach Lithuania in three years at the earliest.

"It's important for railway companies to talk and start making decisions on the possible operation of the line and possible trains, because (...) if we order the trains today, even without considering public procurement procedures, they could be delivered in 3 to 5 years, at the earliest, after the signing of the contracts," Skuodis said. 

"Decisions have to be made now," he said. 

LTG Link, the passenger transportation arm of Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LTG), said in November 2022 that it had started market consultations on the procurement of 10 or 14 high-speed passenger trains for Rail Baltica.