Latvia plans to purchase battery-powered trains by 2026

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By 2026, it is planned to purchase battery-powered trains in Rīga and the vicinity, as well as to improve tracks, Ministry of Transport said in a release July 20.

Battery-powered trains are equipped with batteries that allow them to travel both on electrified lines using electricity from the contact line, and on non-electrified lines using the energy stored in the batteries, thus providing a more environmentally friendly solution than diesel train. These trains are also quieter, said the Ministry.

The ministry also mentioned the shortcomings of this technology: battery trains can cover a relatively short distance but under favorable conditions, producers are already promising to cover a distance over 100 kilometers in full charge. The batteries add extra train weight, and the replacement and recycling of batteries can cause additional problems, the Ministry said.

In order to determine the most appropriate parameters for the operation of battery trains in Latvian conditions, the Ministry of Transport plans to order a feasibility study for evaluating the technological and economic aspects of the intended investment in the second half of 2021.

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