Freight train units at Liepāja railway station, Latvia. License link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/104021946@N05/20095996229

Amber Train to connect Baltic states by rail

An intermodal container service connecting the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will be launched. The service is dubbed the Amber Train, and comes as a result of an agreement signed by the national railway companies of the three countries.

On March 12, Latvijas dzelzceļš and its subsidiaries LDZ Cargo and LDz Logistika, as well as the Lithuanian state railway company AB Lietuvos geležinkeliai and the Estonian railway company EVR Cargo joined hands to develop te service.

The route will connect Šestokai on Lithuania’s border with Poland via Riga to Tallinn, a journey of 650 kilometers on the existing railway network. Meanwhile, the three Baltic states are well underway to construct the much anticipated Rail Baltica, which will link Poland with the Baltic states via a new standard gauge railway line.

Competitive tariffs

The railway companies have agreed to develop a competitive tariff offer and a container shipping timetable, as well as a plan to encourage freight companies who do not currently use rail infrastructure for their transport to shift to rail. Moreover, they agreed to exchange experiences of organising freight transportation, as well as consider the possibility of introducing an electronic documents system to clients.

A working group will be established involving all three parties to take matters further, with the first meeting of the working group scheduled to take place in late March. “In the future, the new European railways infrastructure can create new opportunities, but today we can work on the existing network, providing our customers with convenient and efficient freight logistics,” said LDz President Edvīns Bērziņš.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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