Electric trains manufactured by the Czech company, Škoda Vagonka, should enter service in Latvia by the end of 2023. The electric trains were supposed to enter service operating earlier but, according to the rolling stock manufacturer, the Russian aggression against Ukraine has affected the timing of their delivery.
Latvian Transport Minister Jānis Vitenbergs said that the Czech company would deliver all the 32 electric trains to Latvia, but the delivery of nine trains has been postponed to June next year because of the impact of the war, the CFTS portal reports, citing jauns.lv.
Martin Bednarz, board chairman of Škoda Vagonka, said that 23 electric trains will be delivered to Pasažieru vilciens (the state-owned company that provides passenger rail transport services in Latvia) by the end of this year.
Zdeněk Svata, head of the Central and Eastern Europe regional division of Škoda Vagonka, said that the testing of the first trains had been completed successfully and that the project was in its final stages.
Commenting on the delay in the delivery of the trains, Svata said that changes in the production and testing plans because of Russia's war in Ukraine significantly affected the entire process. According to him, the company had originally planned to test the trains on Ukrainian infrastructure, but the tests had to be moved to Latvia because of the war.
He No Suggestions Available added that steel, which was originally planned to be purchased in Ukraine, had to be purchased in Sweden and Brazil because of the war.
As reported earlier, Škoda Vagonka also changed the delivery route of electric trains to Latvia because of the war. Originally, the railway logistics was planned to pass through Slovakia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Škoda won the tender for the delivery of electric trains to Latvia in 2019. The contract value is EUR 242 million.