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Rail Baltica Mainline Progresses: Design Phase Completes for Iecava Section

Rail Baltica Mainline Progresses: Design Phase Completes for Iecava Section
photo: Rail Baltica/Rail Baltica Mainline Progresses: Design Phase Completes for Iecava Section
29 / 09 / 2023

In a landmark move for Latvia's transportation sector, the State Railway Technical Inspection has granted the final design coordination approval for the Iecava infrastructure maintenance point on the Rail Baltica mainline, just outside the Latvian capital. This significant achievement, spearheaded by Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas - Rail Baltica's national implementation body in Latvia, signifies the completion of the design phase for the first mainline section in the country.

Collaborative design efforts from a consortium comprising SIA BRD projekts of Latvia and Italian engineering firm Sintagma Srl have paved the way for initiating construction works at the Iecava maintenance point. Scheduled construction for the prioritized Rail Baltica mainline section, stretching from Riga to the Lithuanian border, is set to commence by the end of 2023, with initial activities focusing on the Iecava point, doubling as a logistics hub connected to the current railway network.

Rail Baltica

Kaspars Vingris, Chairman of the Board of Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, shared the organization's enthusiasm and vision for the project, noting, "We have successfully completed the design phase for another infrastructure object. This means that as soon as the winner of the mainline construction tender is determined, Latvia will be ready to start preparing for construction works in the priority direction towards Lithuania. Funding in the amount of EUR 165 million has been secured specifically for the start of the mainline construction at the end of 2023." Vingris also lauded the timely and budget-compliant design completion and recognized the valuable contributions from Sintagma Slr and SIA BRD projekts. Beyond its primary function of maintaining the Rail Baltica railway network, the infrastructure maintenance points at Iecava and Skulte will serve as pivotal logistics bases during the mainline's construction. These hubs will be instrumental in storing and managing construction materials, equipment, and machinery.

Arnis Staltmanis, a Board Member at Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, underscored the significance of maintenance points like Iecava and Skulte for Rail Baltica. "Like any other type of infrastructure, railway tracks require maintenance to keep everything in working condition, ensuring efficient and, above all, safe transportation. Railway tracks are a long-term investment, and we all want the newly constructed Rail Baltica infrastructure to serve for a long time to provide maximum benefits," Staltmanis expressed.

To support the diverse activities at these infrastructure maintenance points, plans are afoot to establish comprehensive infrastructure encompassing storage, assembly, and restoration facilities for track materials, along with provisions to maintain rolling stock efficiently. Envisioned plans for the Iecava point, spanning approximately 16 hectares, include constructing 1435 mm gauge tracks over 14 km and establishing connections to the existing 1520 mm gauge tracks.