Latvia's train station modernization in progress

By the end of 2023, more than 40 railway station platforms should be rebuilt and new railway stations will be built in four places. Although the Latvian Railways company claims that jobs are actively in progress, no station has been completed, Latvian Radio reported on August 13.

Work has been ongoing for nearly a year at 48 stations included in the EUR 44 million renovation project. Passengers will be able to start using the first high platforms on the Jelgava line within a month.

The question arises whether the €44 million project, where most of the funding is European money, will be completed this year.

"It should be said that there is ongoing communication with builders and engineers at the moment. Both sides are doing everything they can to ensure that the terms of the contract are fulfilled,” said Latvian Railways representative Agnese Līcīte.

City planner Neils Balgalis said that the Latvian Railways is currently not in the best situation in terms of the geopolitical situation, but in spite of this, money has been given to the project. Balgalis hopes the jobs will be completed within the scheduled deadline.

“It appears that the pace is not too fast, generously speaking,” Balgalis acknowledged. 

On the other hand, the association of disabled people and their allies, Apeirons, is concerned whether people with reduced mobility would be able to reach the new high platforms. Ivars Balodis, the member of the association's board, acknowledged that previous experience has not been the best.

“In previous [Latvian Railways] projects, we have observed – yes, there is a wonderful ramp, but it ends nowhere. In a meadow, some pit or a field,” said Balodis "In the end, the responsibility, I think, must be borne by both the Latvian Railways and the local government, who must continue and think how a person will get there, how they can move, where the bus stop is closer, how they can change transport."

“Latvian Railways” replied that the accessibility of the environment is discussed with local governments, but they cannot affect municipal decisions, so there is no guarantee that people will be able to get to the comfortable and modern platforms without trouble.

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