Russian Railways could increase train speeds to Riga, Latvia

The representatives of the railway administrations of Russia and Latvia addressed the question of how to enhance the speed passenger service between Moscow and Riga recently.

The discussion was held in Riga during the round table meeting that was held on 18 October at the Third Regional International Railway Business Forum – Strategic Partnership, The Baltic Region.

Russian Railways is interested in introducing high-speed passenger service on this route.

The Institute of Economy and Transport (a subsidiary of Russian Railways) has conducted a preliminary assessment of the project.

According to experts, a reduction in travel time would be possible if the following activity is taken:

  • A reduction must be made in time spent at stops on the Russian and Latvian borders;
  • An improvement must be introduced in customs and border procedures;
  • The train could travel about 20% faster.

In this case, the reduction in the travel time may amount to about 3 hours and 50 minutes.

The total length of the railway line between Moscow and Riga is 922 km, of which 638 km passes through the territory of Russia.

In 2010, the volume of passenger traffic on this route increased 15% year on year to 162,500 people (about 61% of all passenger traffic between Russia and Latvia).

It usually takes 16 hours for passenger trains to travel between the two capital cities.

Thus, if the suggestions made at the forum are heeded, passenger service could be provided in a comfortable overnight trip of approximately 10-12 hours.


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