Elecrtrified railway in Latvia, source: Latvijas dzelzceļš

Latvian Railways to invest 4.5 billion euros in infrastructure

Elecrtrified railway in Latvia, source: Latvijas dzelzceļš

Latvian Railways has developed a concept for infrastructure development until 2035, with electrification, increasing train speed and improving safety. The total estimated cost of all railway infrastructure development projects could amount to 4.5 billion euros by 2035.

Chairman of the Board Māris Kleinbergs: “We expect that after the end of the pandemic, the intensity of passenger transport could quickly recover and even exceed the current levels, and in Latvia this trend will be facilitated by extensive modernization of railway infrastructure launched by LDz, replacement of the current, obsolete passenger rolling stock with new, comfortable trains, and implementation of the Rail Baltica project.”


Latvian Railways will work on expanding the electrified network and modernising already electrified parts. In the previous years, electrification of the Riga-Krustpils-Rēzekne-Daugavpils railway, which was intensively used for freight transport was at the forefront, says the company. Now, the focus is on passenger transport and the goal is to replace the obsolete 3.3kV overhead lines installed more than 50-60 years ago with 25kV lines.

Feasibility studies are currently under way to expand the electrified part of Zasulauks-Bolderāja section by June 1, 2026, as well as to modernise the network of overhead lines in Riga junction and the Riga-Priedaine section of the Tukums railway.

Map of the planned railway infrastructure developments, source: Latvian Railways

Increasing train speed and traffic volume

At present, the maximum speed of passenger trains in Latvia is 120 km/h. The speed of passenger transport by rail is one of the most important factors determining whether people choose railway, says Latvian Railways.

In recent years, Latvian Raiwlays has implemented infrastructure upgrades in certain railway sections in order to increase the maximum speed of trains and shorten the time passengers spend on trains.  By the end of 2023, a project will be implemented to increase train speed to 140 km/h in Riga-Aizkraukle and Riga-Jelgava sections, improving traffic safety at level crossings and liquidating spots where train speed is limited.

By the end of 2035, train speeds will be gradually increased, section by section, up to 160 km/h, which will be made possible by electrifying railway lines, reconfiguring tracks, increasing traffic safety at level crossings, as well as proposing amendments to the relevant laws and regulations.


Along with the work being done to increase train speeds, level crossings will also be modernised to increase safety. They will be equipped with automatic barriers, additional traffic lights will be set up on the left side of the road, and level crossing closure times will be optimised. More than 20 kilometres of fencing will be installed along railway lines in Riga and the vicinity of Riga.

Latvian Railways also aims to turn train stations into mobility points, focussing on integrating intermodal connections. Part of this are developing parking infrastructure for bicycles, electric scooters, cars and pedestrians so that rail stations become the most important transfer point.

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor RailTech.com

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