EU approves investments worth €272 million to improve rail passenger transport in Lithuania and Latvia

The European Commission has announced that it has approved investments of more than €114 million from the Cohesion Fund to buy new electric trains in the Latvian region of Riga and Pieriga.

In a statement issued on April 21, the European Commission also revealed that the Cohesion Fund had approved €158 million for the electrification of the railway section between Kaišiadorys and Klaipeda, Lithuania, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

At the same time, more than €60 million of investments have also been approved by the European Regional Development Fund to improve flood protection in the Karlovac-Sisak region of Croatia.

In this regard, Cohesion and Reforms Commissioner Elisa Ferreira said she was very pleased to have approved these three important investments in environmentally friendly public transport in Latvia and Lithuania.

These cohesion policy investments will significantly improve the quality of life of Latvian, Lithuanian and Croatian citizens,” She also added.

The investment in Latvia consists of the purchase of 23 multi-passenger electric trains for Latvian Railways.

These new trains will help replace some of Latvia’s obsolete vehicles. They will also increase the attractiveness of rail and the annual number of public transport trips made in the country with environmentally friendly vehicles, which is expected to reach at least 2.7 million in 2023.

Similarly, the electrification of the railway section in Lithuania will reduce environmental pollution by contributing to the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energies in railway transport.

“The section is part of the 423.9 km line connecting Klaipėda to the border between Lithuania and Belarus. Lithuania’s electrified line currently represents only 8% of its rail network. Currently, the Klaipėda-Kaišiadorys section uses only diesel traction, whose emissions account for 3% of all greenhouse gases emitted by the Lithuanian transport sector,” read the statement.

Furthermore, the European Commission notes that to increase EU rail efficiency, the electrification of railway lines is a key provision of the TENT-T development guidelines.

In addition, recent investments in Croatia will focus on the construction of four canals (Shišljavić, Brodarci and two on the Kupa-Korana river canal) with the construction and reinforcement of barriers with a total length of 131.8 km.

This project is expected to reduce financial damage to the economy, property and infrastructure in the Karlovac-Sisak region, which was affected by ten floods between 2014 and 2018.

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