New trains modernise Riga’s suburban rail

With the purchase of new electrical and diesel rail units, this project is expected to take Riga’s rail service rapidly into the future and dramatically improve the country’s rail connections.

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Safer, faster and more economical rail options are just some of the incentives expected to get more people out of their cars and on board the trains, in turn contributing to less environmental damage and lower vehicle operating costs.

Rolling rapidly into the future

The body in charge of overseeing the project is ‘AS Pasazieru vilciens’, Latvia’s publicly-owned rail passenger service operator. It will be responsible for procuring 34 electric multiple units and 7 diesel multiple units to replace the current rolling stock which is coming to the end of its useful life. The company serves an average of 65 000 passengers per day, more than 99% of the total rail passenger traffic, and operates a total network of 257.4 km of electrified rail. The project will generate many employment positions, 50 direct jobs of average duration 20 years, another 20 indirect jobs lasting 3 years.

Nerve centre for national rail

The new trains will form the backbone of the future integrated passenger transport system in Latvia. The electric units will serve the electrified routes around Riga, while the diesel units will improve connections between Riga and Latvia’s regions. The plans include using the equipment on the Latvian part of the Rail Baltica corridor. This new rolling stock is expected to improve the quality, accessibility, cost effectiveness and environmental sustainability of the public transport system in Latvia, particularly in the Riga agglomeration area.

More on board for the environment

One of the project’s central aims is to significantly increase the demand for rail passenger services. The number of passengers is expected to increase from 26.8 million in 2008 to 34.2 million in 2016 when the new equipment will be fully operational. This will result in a significant modal shift in transport (from car to rail).

For car owners, the project benefits include lower vehicle operating costs, time savings and fewer accidents, while for the environment it means less pollution from vehicles and consequently improved living standards for citizens.


Draft date

24/03/2011