Skoda to deliver first new electric train to Latvia this week

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This week Czech company and manufacturer of passenger rail vehicles Skoda Vagonka will deliver the first new electric train to Latvia, according to Pasazieru Vilciens – the only passenger-carrying railway company in Latvia.

Image: Skoda Vagonka

The Baltic Times reported that the original plan was to move the train via railway, but because of the war in Ukraine it is no longer possible, which is why the manufacturer, Skoda Vagonka, has decided to deliver the train by road. 

The company said that the electric train, which is a RegioPanter electric unit, will be delivered to Latvia in four different parts. First, the rolling stock was delivered on June 21. The roof parts will be delivered today (June 22), and the wagons, which are transported during the night due their dimensions, will reach Riga on early Thursday morning. The remaining two wagons will be delivered during the last week of June.

Pasazieru Vilciens board chairman Rodzers Janis Grigulis said that a team of experts will assemble the train and test it for several months to make sure it meets all the required standards.

Pasazieru Vilciens is expected to receive 32 new RegioPanter electric units from Skoda by the end of 2023. Each of them will consist of two wagons. The length of one electric train will be 109 meters and each train will have 436 seats.

The trains will run on the Aizkraukle, Tukums, Skulte and Jelgava routes.

The electric units are designed to operate on 1520 mm gauge lines with a 3 kV supply system with the possibility of a future change to 25 kV. The vehicles must withstand climatic conditions from -40 °C to +40 °C. The maximum speed of the vehicles is 160 km/h.

The project is worth €257.889 million with co-funding from the EU Cohesion Fund worth €114.211 million.

Pasazieru Vilciens was established in 2001 to separate domestic passenger services from other functions performed by the state-owned Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railway). Although initially Pasazieru Vilciens was a 100% owned subsidiary of the Latvian Railway, in October 2008 it was transformed into an independent state-owned company.