Today, September 12, modernization of SJSC "Latvijas dzelzceļš" passenger platforms enters its final phase – construction. During the project, 48 railway stations and stops in Jelgava, Tukums, Krustpils, Skulte and along the passenger railway line to Bolderāja, currently under reconstruction, will be modernized or rebuilt by the end of next year. The stops will be visually and functionally redesigned in accordance with a universal design standard developed by LDz for its passenger infrastructure, which stipulates that all groups of society, regardless of the size of a stop or the number of passengers at the stop, offer equally comfortable and pleasant experience being there.
Considering the needs of all social groups, elevated platforms will be built at the modernized stations and stops, as well as comfortable and functional modular shelters, benches, bicycle parking racks and other necessary equipment; their numbers, if necessary, will be easily adjusted according to changes in passenger numbers at a given stop.
The new, modernized railway stops will be accessible and convenient for everyone, including people in wheelchairs and parents with strollers. The modernized passenger platforms will also have tactile guides for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility, connecting the tactile guides to the existing pedestrian infrastructure of the municipality when possible. In addition, the modernized platforms will be equipped with a modern, convenient and comprehensible information and voice alarm system.
SJSC "Latvijas dzelzceļš" Chairman of the Board Māris Kleinbergs emphasizes: “The passenger platform modernization project is one of the most important passenger infrastructure projects in recent years, and now it has entered the final stage: construction. Very soon we will have attractive, comfortable railway stations and stops that are uniform in design and meet modern standards. When working on the LDz universal design standard, according to which our passenger infrastructure will be built, special attention was paid to the principles of accessibility for every member of our society. Although construction work has only just begun, I can say that "Latvijas dzelzceļš" will not stop at modernization of these 48 stops, but will gradually continue modernization of platforms on other railways as well, so that this aesthetic and functional standard accessible to everyone becomes the norm throughout entire Latvian railway network where passenger trains operate or will operate in the future.”
Minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits points out, “In order to achieve that increasingly more residents choose trains for their daily commutes, convenient and accessible stations and user-friendly infrastructure is important, including elevated platforms. It is also great news that, along with the delivery of new electric trains, the stations where these new trains will stop at are being upgraded. This means that people with limited mobility will also be able to use the new trains, and passengers with strollers, bicycles and heavier bags or suitcases will also be able to board them. I also consider a modern information and notification system to be a significant improvement, which will make life much easier for not only day to day commuters, but also for foreign tourists and people who use trains less often.” “While working on the project, all the parties involved developed good cooperation and the experience of the Rail Baltica project has also been taken into account,” adds the minister.
Apeirons association’s Board Member Ivars Balodis agrees, “Railway traffic in Latvia is going through a period of significant changes, and it makes me really happy that "Latvijas dzelzceļš" also pays great attention to issues of accessibility for all passenger groups. In the past, it was not unusual to see in the development of public infrastructure of any kind that aspects of environmental accessibility were remembered only when the infrastructure had already been designed or even built. Now we see that the situation has improved greatly – LDz approached Apeirons quite a while ago and together we developed a universal design standard for railway passenger infrastructure, and today we can take pleasure in the fact that the new infrastructure will be really comfortable, modern, safe and accessible to everyone.”
Speaking about the future of transport, JSC "Pasažieru vilciens" Chairman of the Board Rodžers Jānis Grigulis says, “Trains, their comfort, speed and punctuality are only part of a set of experiences that make up passenger satisfaction with public transport by rail. Rolling stock that meets modern requirements, combined with modern and accessible railway infrastructure, well-developed station and stop surroundings, and connections with municipal public transport will create a new level of experience of travelling by railway and the opportunity for more and more people to use this environmentally friendly transport mode.”
Design and construction of stations and stops on four railway lines (Riga – Jelgava, Riga – Tukums II, Riga – Krustpils, Zemitāni – Skulte (Kalngale – Skulte)) are carried out by general partnership BMGS – FIMA, and by LEONHARD WEISS OÜ on one railway line (Zemitāni – Skulte ( Zemitāni – Vecāķi)).
The project envisages construction of elevated passenger platforms at all 48 railway stations and stops by the end of 2023 to ensure that passengers get on and off the train at the same level, the platforms will feature shelters with benches, waste bins, information signs and directions in accordance with the requirements of the universal design standard of LDz passenger infrastructure. Furthermore, passenger information system devices and video surveillance cameras will be installed at the stations, there will be LED lighting and power supply for setting up ticket machines and other self-service technology. There will also be bicycle parking racks, safety barriers, traffic lights with sound signals will be installed at some stations before pedestrian crossings to ensure safe pedestrian traffic. More information about the universal design standard for passenger infrastructure is available here: https://www.ldz.lv/lv/pasazieru-infrastrukturas-universala-dizaina-standarts
The construction work will be carried out without interrupting train traffic, and temporary platforms will be used to provide passenger services at all stops to be modernized during the project.