War to delay delivery of new electric trains to Latvia

  • 2022-05-06
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The delivery of new electric trains to Latvia will be delayed, as due to the war in Ukraine, the supplier is changing the mode of transportation, Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (Conservatives) said in an interview to Latvian Radio on Thursday.

It was reported already earlier that the war might delay the train deliveries. 

According to the updated delivery schedule, the first train will arrive in Latvia at the end of June or early July. After that, they will be tested in the Latvian railway system, certified in accordance with EU requirements so they can start carrying passengers at the beginning of next year.

"The original plan was to transport the trains [from the Czech Republic] to Latvia via Slovakia, Ukraine and Belarus as they have the 1,522 mm track gauge. Now, it is no longer possible," Linkaits said. 

According to the new plan, each train carriage will be partly disassembled and transported by trucks by road. In Latvia, the carriages will be reassembled. 

As reported, on February 23, the day before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Skoda Vagonka CEO Martin Bednarz told journalists that the first electric trains might be delivered to Latvia for testing in March or April. Skoda Vagonka has pledged to deliver all 32 new electric passenger trains to Pasazieru Vilciens rail company the end of 2023 under the contract concluded in 2019.