Back on track with Latvian rail

Improved passenger safety, more comfortable journeys and reduced travel times are among the benefits that residents and businesses can reap once the new 52 km stretch of rail line is completed between Skriveri and Krustpils in Latvia.

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This section, part of the longer Riga-Krustpils line, plays a pivotal role in connecting people and freight with Riga port and the East-West Rail corridor. The economic benefits are expected to be significant, with boosted capacity through more frequent use of the rail service and also the creation of some 150 direct jobs.

Healing the scars along a busy rail route 

The initial Riga-Krustpils line was built in 1860 to 1861 with a double-track formation. The first 74 km section of the line remains largely as it was when originally constructed. However, due to damage caused during the Second World War, the second section – Skriveri to Krustpils, part of the Trans-European Network (TEN) – was reduced to one track.

Until recently, trains along this route have had to make forced stops to let oncoming trains pass, thus adding to delays, accident risks and travel frustration. The current project will effectively rebuild the second line (50.8 km for the second main track and 2 km of additional station tracks for operational purposes) in parallel to the existing single main track, but this time with more modern infrastructure and systems.

A story of rivers, railways and bridges 

The works set out in the proposal put forward by the Latvian Ministry of Finance cover much more than simply laying down a track. There is a comprehensive plan in place, which is designed to bring the rail service up to scratch in terms of safety requirements and also prepare it to meet current and future travel demand.

The plan includes earthworks, supervision of the entire project, the reconstruction and construction of 34 small bridges and culverts, the construction of two new bridges over the Perse river and the Aiviekste river, and the redevelopment of five stations: Skriveri, Koknese, Aizkraukle, Plavinas and Krustpils.

Safety for passengers, employment for locals

The infrastructure will feature 15 reconstructed and safer level crossings, better passenger platforms as well as modern signalling, telecommunication and power supply systems. It minimises  both the risk of rail accidents and thepollution risk, contributing to a cleaner environment. In addition, the local region stands to gain in terms ofemployment – 150 direct jobs will be created during the implementation phase; the jobs will have an average duration of just over three years.

Draft date

24/06/2010