Information published on 7 April 2020 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 686.

Latvia: This week a kilometre-long train from China will cross Latvia’s territory

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This week an especially long assembly of rail cargo will be transported, using railway infrastructure maintained by SJSC “Latvijas dzelzceļš” (LDz), which, continuing the cooperation with Russian Railways and based on the agreement signed between both companies in late February on the organisation of transport of especially long cargo trains, is to be transported from China to the Kaliningrad region.

The cargo train, consisting of one hundred 20-foot containers, is one kilometre long. These are supplies delivered on the route from China to Kaliningrad.
The train on 2 April started on the route China-Russia-Latvia-Kaliningrad region. The cargo train will reach its final destination in Kaliningrad in about nine days, but will cross Latvia’s territory in 10 hours, including the time needed for customs and border crossing procedures.

Despite the current economic situation in the world affected by Covid-19, as a result of which the majority of companies have suspended manufacturing or have considerably reduced manufacturing volumes, this will be the fifth container train in a few weeks that is sent on route China-Zabaykalsk (Russia)-Kaliningrad, crossing Latvia’s territory. The organisation of such regular transport proves that LDZ is seeking and finding opportunities to increase cargo volumes and develop new cooperation directions also in periods filled with challenges.

The especially long assembly of trains as well as the previous four trains have been formed in cooperation with LDz, Russian Railways, Russian company “Transcontainer” and LDz subsidiaries SIA “LDZ CARGO” and SIA “LDz Loģistika” that are responsible for transportation of trains in Latvia’s territory, and organisation of logistics and customs services.

LDz already has experience in the transport of such long cargo trains through Latvia which demonstrates the quality of the infrastructure maintained by LDz and capacity in receiving non-standard cargo trains. So far the longest assembly of trains that has crossed Latvia’s territory in transit from Russia to Kaliningrad has consisted of 75 rolling stock units and weighed 7,460 tons.

Latvia compared to several other European Union member states may transport longer and heavier trains. According to a comparative analysis on the European railway infrastructure conducted by auditing company “Ernst & Young” in 2018, the average cargo train weight transported, using Finnish and Polish railway infrastructure, is up to 1,500 tons, while in Germany – around 500 tons. Meanwhile, in Latvia, the railway infrastructure fully meets the requirements of 22.5 tons axle load or the ability to ensure heavy cargo transportation.

The Group also includes six subsidiaries – JSC LatRailNet, which determines infrastructure charges and is responsible for railway infrastructure capacity allocation, LDZ CARGO Ltd., which provides railway freight transportation and international passenger transportation services, infrastructure construction and maintenance company LDZ Infrastruktūra Ltd., rolling stock repair and maintenance company LDZ Ritošā Sastāva Serviss, security company LDZ Apsardze Ltd., as well as logistics company LDZ Loģistika Ltd. LDz has been awarded Platinum Category in the Sustainability Index and is ranked among the five most valuable and best-managed Latvian companies in annual ratings collated by Prudentia and Nasdaq Riga.

(Source: LDz)