On Monday, the first excavation works have started at the Atgāzene station. The new platforms will be more modern and, above all, higher. When the new trains start running, passengers won't have to hold on with both hands to climb the steep, vertical stairs.
The “Apeirons” association of people with disabilities and their allies also participated in the design, insisting on necessary changes to the project so that the new platforms would be readily accessible to both people with prams, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
“Eleven stations of the Latvian Railways are available [for disabled people] when calling in advance. There are special hoists that are delivered, and then a special person waits and another special person in the other place. Actually, it's a burden. And often because they're drawing too much attention because of the disability, people don't use it,” said Ivars Balodis, member of the Board of the Alliance.
It is precisely this problem that the new platforms could alleviate, the association hopes.
The new, elevated platforms will be built on four passenger train routes: Rīga–Jelgava, Rīga–Skulte, Rīga–Tukums and Rīga–Krustpils. The works are scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.
The construction of 48 platforms will cost more than €44 million. 85% of the total funding is derived from the European Union Cohesion Fund and 15% is co-financed by Latvian Railways.