First new electric trains to start running in Latvia by end-2023 - Vitenbergs

  • 2023-08-15
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The first electric trains manufactured by Czech company Skoda Vagonka should start running in Latvia by the end of the year, Transport Minister Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) told reporters after a meeting with management members of Skoda Vagonka and Latvia's rail passenger carrier Pasazieru Vilciens.

Vitenbergs also pointed out that the Czech company would deliver a total of 32 electric trains to Latvia, however, due to the war in Ukraine shipment of nine trains has been postponed until June 2024.

Skoda Vagonka's CEO Martin Bednar said that 23 electric trains would be delivered to Pasazieru Vilciens by the end of 2023.

He also said that in order to speed up work, the company had opened a new train assembly line in Ostrava, Czech Republic, dedicated to manufacture of the trains for Latvia, which employs 200 people. Part of the train assembly takes place in Latvia, involving both Czech and Latvian workers.

According to Skoda Vagonka representatives, the delay in delivery of the new trains was due to changes in production and testing plans caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Originally, testing the trains had to take place in Ukraine, but due to the war it had to be moved to Latvia. The war and the ensuing inflation had also made the project more expensive.

As reported, each new electric train will consist of four wagons. The length of one electric train will be 109 meters and each train will have 436 seats.

The project costs are EUR 257.889 million with co-funding from the EU Cohesion Fund worth EUR 114.211 million.