New train deliveries planned to be completed in summer

Currently, 24 new electric trains of the Czech company Škoda Vagonka have been delivered to Pasažieru Vilciens (PV), brand name Vivi, and the rest of the ordered trains will be delivered to Latvia by the middle of this summer, said Martin Bednar, CEO of Škoda Vagonka, at a press briefing on March 5.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Board of PV, Rodžers Jānis Grigulis, said that the fine to be imposed on the Czech company for the previous failures of the electric trains would be in the hundreds of thousands of euros.

Grigulis pointed out that PV is now out of the crisis and the punctuality rate of the new electric trains has reached 98%. He added that Škoda Vagonka is keeping its promise and all 17 trains put into service with PV have been repaired. All are not yet in passenger service, as some are undergoing dynamic testing.

Currently, 14 new electric trains are carrying passengers. "Our goal this year is to use only the new electric trains so that the old trains are a rarity," said Grigulis.

Bednar, Chairman of the Board of the Czech company, pointed out that the company has increased the number of employees working in Latvia. Currently, 30 Škoda Vagonka employees are available here, and a 24-hour support line for train drivers and other PV employees is open.

24 new electric trainsets are already in Riga and the 25th is being handed over. Seven of those physically in Latvia are not yet fully assembled or undergone certification. The trains are currently being tested by PV. Bednar said that Škoda Vagonka plans to hand over all 32 trainsets produced and ordered for Latvia by mid-summer.

The risk mitigation plan developed by PV in January foresees that at least two to three new electric trains be kept in reserve for unforeseen events.

Grigulis said that discussions are ongoing on the penalties to be applied to Škoda Vagonka. The amount of the penalties will be calculated once all the new trains have been delivered, the PV CEO said.

He explained that there are two types of penalties: those relating to delays in the delivery of trains and those relating to delays due to the technical condition of trains. Grigulis confirmed that the fines would be in the hundreds of thousands of euros, without giving a more precise figure. As Grigulis has previously stated, Škoda Vagonka is currently liable to pay a penalty of €1,500 for each day a new train is out of service.

Currently, the new electric trains carry passengers on lines with two tracks so that they can be bypassed if necessary - on the Tukums and Aizkraukle lines, and on the Jelgava and Skulte lines. Gradually, they will run on all train lines, Grigulis said.

PV plans to change the train timetable in May, while work on switching to an interval timetable could start in autumn.

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