With the aim to increase the efficiency of passenger and cargo transportation, promote the use of environmentally friendly technologies and boost the international competitiveness of the Latvian rail corridor, LDz plans to carry out rail network electrification in the following years. On October 9, 2019 VAS Latvijas Dzelzceļš signed an agreement with the Central Finance and Contracting Agency on the implementation of Stage 1 of the project Electrification of the Latvian Rail Network.
The project provides for the electrification of the Daugavpils-Krustpils, Rezekne-Krustpils and Krustpils-Riga railway lines by the end of 2023, using the 25 kV A/C technology, including by reconstructing the existing partly electrified rail network, replacing the 3.3 kV system with the 25 kV.
The project implementation will allow transportation of heavier trains with the maximum gross weight of 9 000 tons, and in rail passenger transportation, diesel trains will also be replaced with electric trains.
The project will be financed with co-funding provided by the European Union’s Cohesion Fund*, and LDz, as well as a loan raised from the European Investment Bank.
At the beginning of 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the implementation of Stage 1 of the project Electrification of the Latvian Rail Network, which is the largest project co-funded by the EU Cohesion Fund in Latvia yet.
Although the project’s original cost estimate was EUR 519 million, thanks to an increasingly rapid technological advances in the railway industry, VAS Latvijas Dzelzceļš managed to find a solution allowing to reduce the project’s total costs by 15 percent, or EUR 78 million by replacing the planned power supply systems for traction substations with inverters, which reduced the substations’ total costs. As a result, the project’s new cost estimate is EUR 441 million.
The project has received a positive assessment from from the European Commission’s independent technical assistance experts (JASPERS, Independent Quality Review). In July this year, the European Commission gave the green light to implementation of Stage 1 of the project.
At present, there are 257 kilometers of electrified railway lines in Latvia, making up 14 percent of the country’s entire railway network, which is significantly less than the EU’s average – 60 percent.
*The Cohesion Fund support for development of TEN-T railway network is granted within framework of measure 188.8.131.52 “Electrification of the Latvian Railway Network” of specific support objective 6.2.1 “To ensure a competitive and environmentally-friendly TEN-T railway network, promoting its safety, quality and capacity” of operational program “Development and Employment”