RIGA - The Road Transport Administration has announced a procurement of nine battery-powered electric trains, the transport authority informed LETA.
Latvia expects the new trains, which will be running on the Bolderaja-Sigulda line, to be delivered by the end of 2026.
Information on the first round of the train procurement has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Potential suppliers can submit their bids by May 31, 2022.
The first round of the tender will involve the selection of candidates that might supply the nine battery-powered trains to Latvia. Detailed talks on the purchase price and other aspects that might affect the delivery of the trains will take place in the second round of the tender, which Latvia plans to announce in the fall.
Funding for the purchase of at least seven trains will be tied to Latvia's recovery and resilience plan, while the purchase of two trains will be co-finance by the EU, including from the Cohesion Fund.
The train procurement plan also includes an option to buy seven more trains if additional financing opportunities are found.
Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (Conservatives) indicated that Latvia needs new and modern trains both on its electrified and non-electrified railway lines to strengthen rail transport as the backbone of the national public transport system.
"The battery-powered trains can be used on the non-electrified lines. The advantage of such trains is their environmentally friendly technology with a very low noise level - battery trains are less noisy, so they are more friendly to passengers and also the people living near rail tracks," the transport minister said.
Earlier, Road Transport Administration head Kristians Godins told LETA that the nine battery trains might cost an estimated EUR 75-76 million. The project provides for the purchase of nine trains with 200 to 240 passenger seats.
"Financing has only been provided for the purchase of rolling stock, which means that state funding will be provided for the maintenance of infrastructure. The first battery trains are expected to start running in 2026," Godins said.