RIGA - Minister of Transport Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) calls on residents to be tolerant of construction works associated with the Rail Baltica project at Riga Central Station, the Minister told LETA.
"The Rail Baltica project gives us the opportunity to reconstruct Riga Central Station into a modern, multifunctional and beautiful central transport hub of the capital, while improving the convenience and accessibility of public transport services. The station's reconstruction is planned so that the station will continue to provide its services and trains could continue to run, adjusting their schedule for construction works," said Linkaits.
The Ministry of Transport pointed out that since the end of November last year, when the first Rail Baltica construction site began work opposite the Ministry of Transport, the Rail Baltica central junction is beginning to be constructed - reconstruction and relocation of railway engineering systems and city engineering networks, including rebuilding of signaling systems, cables and switches on platforms and tracks.
Construction work on the Riga Central Junction will be organized in two large stages.
First, everything on the south side of the station will be constructed, including tracks, platforms, platform canopies, the new station building, the embankment will be demolished, a railway overpass will be built and the street areas will be completely rebuilt. Construction in the southern area will continue until the end of 2023.
From 2024 to 2025, construction works will take place on the other side of the railway tracks or in the northern part of the station - rebuilding the existing tracks, passenger platforms, street overpasses and the station building itself. Simultaneously with these works, a new railway and pedestrian/cycling bridge over the Daugava River to Jelgavas Street will be constructed.
The construction plan of the Riga Central Junction envisages the introduction of the European gauge railway in the center of Riga, building four new tracks, ensuring the service of Rail Baltica international rail connections, a rail connection between Riga Airport and the city center, as well as Latvian regional (intercity and suburban) trains.
It is also planned to create a station infrastructure that meets modern requirements. The existing five platforms will be supplemented by two more new platforms, as well as all platforms will be raised and canopies will be built for them. Stairs, 12 elevators and 22 escalators will lead to each of the platforms. After the construction, larger tunnels will be available for pedestrians.
It is also planned to build new premises in the area of 6000 square meters above the platforms , which will consist of commercial premises, toilets, cash registers, various auxiliary premises, luggage storage. The station will also include an Air-To-Rail solution or baggage transit lanes, which provide the possibility to transfer luggage from the airport to the station and vice versa without the involvement of passengers.
In the vicinity of Riga Central Railway Station, it is also planned to increase the green area and landscaped multifunctional areas available to residents. It is expected that the reconstruction of the Riga Central Railway Station complex, the construction of the railway bridge over the Daugava and the infrastructure will be completed in 2025.
As reported, Rail Baltica is a double track, European standard 1,435 mm gauge electrified railroad for passenger and freight transport to be built from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The overall length of the railroad will be 870 kilometers.
The initial cost of the project was estimated at EUR 5.8 billion, with a portion of the costs being financed through EU funds. The project was expected to be completed and open for traffic in 2026.