New trains will arrive later than expected

Latvia's passenger train operator is experiencing a delayed service of a new kind with news that a major order for electric trains to be delivered from the Czech Republic will be completed later than planned.

Amendments have been made to the agreement between the Pasažieru Vilciens passenger train company with Czech Skoda Vagonka on the supply of electric trains, stating that the first deliveries will be made by January 19, 2023, according to the amendments published on the Electronic Procurement System.

The delivery time for the completion of all 32 electric trains has not been changed. The first 23 trains will be delivered until the first half of 2023, and the remaining nine electric trains will be delivered by the end of 2023.

The amendments to the agreement state that the operations of Škoda Vagonka were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions.

Also, on March 7, 2022, the Czech Chamber of Commerce stated that the current situation has negatively impacted Škoda Vagonka's ability to deliver trains to agreed deadlines. The negative circumstances include shortages of labor, materials and services and the quarantine restrictions in the Czech Republic.

As reported, on February 23, the day before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Škoda Vagonka CEO Martin Bednarz told journalists that the first electric trains might be delivered to Latvia for testing in March or April, so the potential delay runs to nearly a year.

The company has pledged to deliver all 32 new electric passenger trains to Pasazieru Vilciens rail company by the end of 2023 under the contract concluded in 2019.

The total costs of the project reach EUR 257.889 million.

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