Cycling trail on former railway to be built in Latvia

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A new "green" bicycle trail is from Rīga to Pskov is planned to be created in the coming year, reported Latvian Radio on May 24.

The route of 400 kilometers will stretch along the former railway line and local roads and pathways. Currently, cycling lanes are being installed on the former railway site in the city of Viļaka, which is also participating in the project.

Maruta Brokāne, the lead researcher, hopes that the historic railway which used to connect Latgale and Rīga will promote tourism development in northern Latgale.

"The wide-track railway was set up in 1902. It was initially built with the aim of exploiting the surrounding forests. During WWI, the railway was connected to the the railway line in the direction of Rīga," says Brokāne.

The idea of reviving the formerly needed and popular railway is not new, however, according to Viļaka municipality tourism and information center manager Inese Matisāne, currently it is the first "green" bicycle route of this kind.

"The route has remained intact in many places, it will be renewed and could be very interesting for a tourist, a lover of Latvian nature, an explorer," says Matisāne.

The jobs are scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2021.

The total cost of the project is around EUR 800 000.



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