This is not right time for planning future strategy for 1,520 mm gauge railway - ministry

  • 2023-05-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In relation to uncertain geopolitical situation in the future, this is not the right time to plan medium-term or long-term strategy for the 1,520 millimeter gauge railway infrastructure, said Transport Ministry's representative Patriks Markevics at TransBaltica 2023 conference on Friday.

He said that it is a big question about what happens with the 1,520 millimeter gauge infrastructure and what the future of this isolated network is.

"It might seem that is is simple - let's move to the standard 1,435 millimeter gauge, and it is all solved, but in fact it all is much more complicated," said Markevics, explaining that this would mean that a completely new railway infrastructure should be formed and it also costs much money and time.

He said that the Baltic states now should assess their railway network and develop the migration plan. The priority is European transport corridors, which in Latvia's case is Meitene-Jelgava-Riga-Valga line with a stretch to Ventspils.

The problem is with the eastern-western corridor, where cargos are down. From the east, the cargo flows come from China, the Middle Asia and Russia, but the actual outcome of the war in Ukraine and what happens next is not clear yet.