Historical train station buildings get new life as business, cultural and social life venues | Latvijas dzelzceļš

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Historical train station buildings get new life as business, cultural and social life venues

The historical building of the train station in Vaivari, a neighbourhood of Jūrmala, which was looking for tenants last summer, has found one – a pizzeria will be operating in the building from mid-January. This is one of the many examples when a building that no longer serves its original purpose continues to exist in a new form.

The Vaivari Station building could no longer be used for the needs of railway passengers, which is why, as part of the station modernization project, this historical station building was preserved as a cultural and historical architectural monument and moved further away from the railway; now the building is located on Skautu Street in Jūrmala.

SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš has a lot of properties to take care of, and railway stations, which were constructed in different historical periods and in different economic conditions, are definitely the most prominent of these. Many of these buildings still perform the function of a railway station, but there are also many rail stations at dismantled railway lines and lines that are no longer used for passenger transportation, or where trains no longer stop as there are very few passengers.

Buildings that are currently not necessary for the provision of Latvijas Dzelzceļš services are put up for rent or auction. As a result, buildings, which are often also cultural and historical monuments, are properly managed, new jobs are created for local residents, and such buildings become centres of public life, cultural centres, or tourist attractions. Private individuals, businesses and local governments all have the right to rent or purchase these buildings.

For example, there is now a private guest house and a museum located in the historical building of Airīte Station. The former Ērgļi Train Station building is also being revamped into an attractive destination for local and foreign tourists, which will offer various types of educational and recreational activities. In turn, the building of Ķeipene Station has become Cinema Station – the brainchild of Augusts Sukuts, the author of the idea of ​​the film forum Arsenāls. 

Multiple local governments have also taken over the station buildings in their municipalities with the aim to order to improve residents’ social life, attract more tourists, and for other purposes. An art gallery has been set up at Dubulti Train Station in cooperation with Jūrmala City Council, while Gulbene municipality has set up educational interactive centre Railway and Steam in the local station building. There is now a community centre at Smārde Station building, and various cultural activities are also organized at Kangari Train Station. Cēsis Train Station has been entrusted to the local government, even though the building remains property of SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš. There is a post office, a bus station and several private businesses operating at Cēsis Station now. The historical building of the terminal station at the narrow-gauge railway in Alūksne belongs to the municipality and is home to a catering business. A number of other historical station buildings have been purchased by private individuals or businesses, and it is currently unknown what they will be used for in future.

Blīdene Train Station at Liepāja-Glūda railway line will be sold at auction by January 26: https://www.ldz.lv/lv/izsole Furthermore, several stations and other buildings are currently available for long- or short-term rent: https://www.ldz.lv/lv/nekustama-ipasuma-noma

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