VILNIUS – The rebuilding of a 19-km railway section between Lithuania's Mazeikiai and Renge, in Latvia, that was dismantled a decade ago, is nearing completion, says the CEO of its major contractor Vitras-S, a railway construction and repairs company owned by Estonia's railway services group Skinest Rail.
According to Mikhail Lipkin, although the company’s agreement with Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lihuanian Railways), the state-owned Lithuanian railway company, states that the rebuilding should be competed by the end of March, 2020, the company does not change its plans to finish it as early as this year.
"Everything goes as planned and smooth work is underway. The initial technical commission had some comments and we are fixing those things but everything goes as scheduled," Lipkin told BNS.
Gintaras Liubinas, a representative of Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai, says the finishing work is underway at the Renge section. In his words, the company's commission supervising the project will decide on Dec 16 whether it's possible to connect the signaling installations to the general system and resume traffic soon.
In March, Vitras-S signed a contract worth 11.35 million euros, including VAT, with Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai to rebuild the Renge track.
The project includes rebuilding 19 kilometers of track, repairing or rebuilding five level crossings and six bridges, and building or rebuilding traffic management systems.
The track is being rebuilt in line with LG's commitment to the European Commission, which in late 2017 imposed a fine of almost 28 million euros on the state railway company for hindering competition in the rail freight market.
The railway line was in the past used by the Mazeikiai-based oil refinery Orlen Lietuva, which is owned by Poland's Orlen, to transport its oil products to Latvia.