RIGA - Transport of passengers with the new electric trains will begin at the end of the summer, Minister of Transport Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) announced after a meeting with the boards of the Czech company Skoda Vagonka, which is the manufacturer of electric trains, and the Latvian passenger rail company Pasazieru Vilciens.
The minister's spokeswoman Alona Zandere told LETA that today's meeting was held to discuss the progress of the electric train project.
"Already at the end of this summer, a new era in passenger transportation will begin, as the first new electric trains will make their first trips. During the meeting with the management of Skoda Vagonka and Pasazieru Vilciens, we not only talked about the details of the upcoming start of train operations, but we also saw in real life how comfortable and modern these trains actually are. I emphasize that I will personally monitor this process so that there are no deviations from the timeline when we plan to begin introducing the new trains," said Vitenbergs.
During the meeting, the minister got acquainted with the strategy of Pasazieru Vilciens for the future development of the company. There was also a discussion about the creation of a new service center where maintenance and repair of the new trains could be provided.
As reported, Pasazieru Vilciens is expected to receive all 32 electric trains by the end of 2023. Each of them will consist of two 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.
Pasazieru Vilciens was established in 2001 to separate domestic passenger services from other functions performed by the state-owned Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railway). Although initially Pasazieru Vilciens was a 100-percent owned subsidiary of the Latvian Railway, in October 2008 it was transformed into an independent state-owned company.