President gives Vivi two weeks to put trains on tracks

President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs expects JSC “Pasažieru Vilciens”, brand name Vivi, which operates Latvia's passenger trains, to solve problems with new electric trains and complete an assessment of the company's board of directors' responsibility until mid-March, Latvian Radio reported Tuesday,

On February 27, the President of Latvia met with Transport Minister Kaspars Briškens (Progressives) in Riga Castle to discuss the current issues related to the transport sector, including the technical state and operation of new electric trains, provision of postal services, road infrastructure in Latvia and the Rail Baltica project.

During the meeting, the President discussed with the Transport Minister the current status concerning the new “Škoda Vagonka” electric trains and the deadlines within which the defects of electric trains are planned to be rectified. Rinkēvičs wrote on the social site X last week: “If trains don't roll then heads have to roll.”

But after Tuesday's conversation, trains will roll, Transport Minister Briškens said after more than an hour of talks with the President.

Briškens has assured the President that Škoda Vagonka electric trains are being put into circulation according to the new system – after problems have been rectified, dynamic inspections are carefully carried out during which trains are driven intensely. And only then are they put into circulation.

Of 17 trains, 12 are available for passenger transport, but in reality fewer are running. How many, the Pasazieru Vilciens did not say. Škoda had promised earlier to have 95% of trains running by March 9.

“We have now received a timetable for the introduction of new trains from the new Pasažieru Vilciens Council. The risks certainly remain for the 95% confidence criterion. The company, of course, must continue to work closely with Škoda as well, but once again, the main thing that needs to continue to be ensured, much like it has managed in recent weeks, is a continuous, reliable service,” Briškens said.

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