RIGA - The first new electric trains will be delivered to Latvia disassembled at the end of June or beginning of July, Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (Conservatives) said in an interview with TV3 channel Tuesday.
The minister said that according to the original plan the trains were supposed to arrive in Latvia by railway, but because of the war in Ukraine it is no longer possible, which is why the manufacturer, Czech company Skoda Vagonka, has decided to deliver the trains by road.
"Obviously, the war has affected the mode of delivery - it was planned that from the production plant in Czechia the trains would be delivered to Latvia via Slovakia, Ukraine and Belarus. Now this is no longer possible, so the manufacturer has chosen to transport each carriage separately by road. This is a large-size and very specific cargo the transportation of which requires permits and making sure that all bridges, all overpasses can withstand the weight," said Linkaits.
The minister also indicated that work on the trains' transportation route is already nearing completion.
"So we in Latvia will receive the first train carriages disassembled at the end of June or beginning of July. Once they are here in Latvia, they [the carriages] will be assembled again, tested and certified," Linkaits said, adding that the new electric might start carrying passengers at the beginning of next year.
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 by the end of 2023 under the contract concluded in 2019.
The total costs of the project reach EUR 257.889 million.