Officials mull over Valmiera–Rīga express train after Cēsis' success

After the success of an express train connecting Rīga and Cēsis, northern Latvia, a similar express train might connect the Latvian capital with Valmiera, another cultural and economic powerhouse in the Vidzeme region.

That's what Kristiāns Godiņš, the head of the Road Transport Administration told Latvian Television July 19.

The express train which runs from Cēsis to Rīga at the start and back again at the end of every workday has been hugely popular since its introduction in June. The train, which stops only in Sigulda and Rīga's Zemitāni, has cut the previous travel time by ten minutes, to 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

In response to the demand, the Passenger Rail has doubled the number of cars on the route. "It means it's possible to carry much more passengers," said Godiņš. 

Seeing the popularity of this route, a similar express train could be introduced to Valmiera.

At the same time, however, at least 150 bus routes are to be closed in Vidzeme, complicating local travel in the northeastern reaches of the country. 

"We have to open our eyes and take a close look. In Vidzeme, too, there are many routes – especially in the border area – that sometimes run without a single passenger," said Godiņš.

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