Without Russia – no movement: railway in Latvia switches to survival mode

The management of the Latvian Railway in their extremely optimistic forecasts did not take into account the consequences of the Russophobic policy of the local authorities.
Without Russia - no movement: railway in Latvia switches to survival mode

This is stated in the material publication “Rubaltic”.

Predicting the development and prosperity of the company, they decided to launch an ambitious railway electrification project. From the very beginning, experts were skeptical of such an idea, considering it inappropriate. However, realities have surpassed all possible fears. The Latvian railway had to not only freeze the project, but also switch to survival mode.

Attempts to obtain state support were unsuccessful. Private investors wanted even less to invest. Representatives of the company insistently claim that they will be able to maintain cargo turnover at the level of 45–55 million tons per year, but in reality it fell to 42 million last year.

The reason is simple: Russia has long been engaged in the development of its own port infrastructure in the Leningrad Region. Although Latvia is still counting on cooperation with the Russian Railways, they are working there to minimize interaction with Baltic companies. When the cargo turnover is completely redirected to the ports of the Leningrad Region, Latvia will become the maximum “emergency option” for the Russian Federation.

With such trends, the Latvian Railway alone in 2019 lost over 9 million euros and asks the state for 40 million to cover costs and achieve budget stability. Only in Riga they are in no hurry to finance the company.

Instead of funding, Minister of Transport Talis Linkites proposed cutting costs, firing employees, and looking for new customers. In particular, he emphasized that the cargo turnover per worker and the kilometer of the Latvian railway are much lower than in Estonia or Lithuania.

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