RIGA - In the EU planning period for 2021-2027, EUR 370 million will be invested in upgrading of Latvian railway infrastructure by 2029, said Transport Ministry's deputy state secretary Ligita Austrupe at the Saeima public expenditure and audit committee meeting today.
The committee lawmakers heard the report of the Transport Ministry and Latvijas Dzelzcels railway company on the railway electrification project in Latvia.
Austrupe said that at present 16 percent of the railway network in Latvia has been electrified. The current network has been used for more than 50 years and is operated on 3.3 kV system as opposed to 25 kV system common in Europe.
Respectively, the current electrified railway network is risky and inefficient and has to be replaced as the new electric passenger trains are put into operation.
"Also, we should urgently think how the replace the diesel train fleet to new, functional and resident friendly diesel trains," she said, adding that the rolling stock of Pasazieru Vilciens passenger train company is not sufficient and it will not be possible to purchase new diesel trains.
The Transport Ministry has decided that diesel trains may be replaced with trains on batteries, which means that there should be charging stations at the end of the route and small electrified island on the route.