RIGA - The first new electric trains could start running in mid-December, representatives of Pasazieru Vilciens passenger train company told LETA.
"We plan that electric trains will run immediately on all electrified railway lines - to Aizkraukle, Tukums, Skulte. We are more cautious with the Jelgava line for the time being, because we need to understand how quickly Latvijas Dzelzcels will complete the modernization and other repair works of the contact network there," said the company's representatives.
The company representatives also noted that the new trains will be accepted gradually - one after the other, so passenger transport will also start gradually.
At the same time, the representatives of Pasazieru Vilciens stressed that all trains are still the property of the Czech company Skoda Vagonka. Once the trains have been accepted by Pasazieru Vilciens, each of them will have to be registered in the rolling stock register with the State Railway Administration.
According to the company, 18 new trainsets have now been delivered to Latvia and are undergoing inspections and all the necessary preparatory work.
As reported, the new electric trains have been authorized to enter the market and the first journey with passengers is planned for December, Transport Minister Kaspars Briskens (Progressives) said on Twitter.
"Permission has been received to launch new electric trains on the market. The first trip with passengers is planned already in December," the minister informed, adding that more information will be provided soon.
The Transport Ministry's representatives told LETA that on Friday, Czech company Skoda Vagonka received the necessary permission from the State Railway Technical Inspectorate for use of the new electrical trains in the market.
It has also been reported, the first two trains of the new electric trains manufactured by the Czech company Skoda Vagonka were delivered to Riga more than a year ago - in June 2022.
Each electric train consists of four cars. One electric train is 109 meters long. Each train has 436 passenger seats.
The Czech company Skoda Vagonka is scheduled to deliver 23 electric trains to Pasazieru Vilciens by the end of 2023 and nine electric trains in 2024.
Pasazieru Vilciens' representatives admitted earlier that the company will demand Skoda Vagonka to pay penalty fee for failing to deliver the new electric trains on time. The maximum penalty for late delivery of each train is 10 percent of the train price.
The total cost of the project is estimated at EUR 257.889 million.