Freight train units at Liepāja railway station, Latvia. License link:

Latvian Railways secures 22.8 million Euros loan for fleet upgrade

Freight train units at Liepāja railway station, Latvia.

Latvian Railways (LZD) has secured a twelve-year loan agreement with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), valuing 22.8 million Euros. The state-owned rail company will use the loan to fund the modernisation of fourteen of its diesel locomotives.

The modernisation project of the company started in 2015 and is one of its most important projects.It allows us to improve the rolling stock by increasing its capacity and economic performance, as well as decrease its negative impact on the environment”, Aivars Strakšas, vice-president at Latvian Railways said.

The upgrade

The upgrade applies to fourteen 2M62UM locomotives. These trains are modernised in all parts above the wheels, including the engines and electrical power systems. This will increase their lifecycle by around thirty years, improve operating capacity by fifty per cent and reduce fuel consumption by seventeen per cent, a reduction of 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The work will be carried out by Latvian Railways’ subsidiary LDz Ritošā sastāva serviss and is expected to be completed in 2018. “We are honoured that internationally respected financial institutions put their trust in us and support the implementation of such projects”, said Strakšas.

Emission standards

With the modernisation the fleet is brought in line with the Euro III A emissions standard, adopted in 2004 and effective since 2006. This was the first standard to include locomotives and railcars. In 2014, the current stage !V standard was implemented. For all standards counts that they are only binding for products newly placed on the market.

Latvian rail freight

Latvian Railways reported early this month that during the first seven months of this year, 27.233 million tonnes of freight were transported via Latvian railway. This indicated a slight increase of 0.1 per cent from the same period in 2016. Most of the freight was import cargo, accounting for 23.565 million tonnes. Of this amount, 21.763 million tonnes were shipped through Latvian ports, Export cargo accounted for 1.005 tonnes, of which 793,000 tonnes were shipped through ports.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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