Railway electrification plan approved; to start with Riga direction

The Latvian government in a closed meeting on January 17 supported the railway electrification project, reported LETA news agency.

Even though initially it was planned to start the project in the direction of Ventspils, the final decision has been to start in the direction of Riga. The change of plans was explained by the Transport Ministry in that the Riga port has a higher throughput than Ventspils.  

During the first stage of the project between 2020 and 2025, the Daugavpils-Krustpils-Riga (Skirotava) lines on the route to Riga will be electrified, with a total cost of €519 million.

The estimated total cost of the project is €1.3 billion. €347 million worth of EU cohesion funding have been made available for this project for the EU's 2014 to 2020 planning period.

So far only 14% or 257 km of railway in Latvia have been electrified, one of the lowest figures in the EU.

Also, last year both the Finance Ministry and the Transport Ministry reported to the government that there is a risk of losing the EU funding if no national decision is made about implementation of the railway electrification project by the end of 2016.

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