Arrival of Latvia's new electric trains will be delayed

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is responsible for a likely delay in the arrival of Latvia's first new-generation electric trains, the head of Latvia's passenger train company said March 28. 

Rodžers Jānis Grigulis, Chairman of the Board of JSC Pasažieru vilciens (Passenger train), said that the trains, which are being built in Czechia, were originally due to be delivered via Ukraine and Belarus, which both use the same track gauge as Latvia.

That is cleary impossible now with Ukraine under attack and Belarus actively helping Russia's invasion, yet the trains are too big to be transported whole by road and so might need to be partially disassembled for transport to Latvia, then reassembled once they arrive.

Consequently the original late-April to early-May delivery date is likely to slip by a month or more, and negotiations are also likely to be required to establish who is responsible for the extra outlay that will be required.

The contract for the supply of 32 new electric trains, signed by Pasažieru vilciens and Škoda Vagonka in mid-2019 , stipulates that the first trains will be delivered in the first half of 2022, and all will arrive by the end of 2023 in a deal worth nearly 256 million euros.

As recently as February 23, champagne was flowing at a special ceremony to unveil the first of the new trains. Just 24 hours later, Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

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