LATVIA: International passenger train operator L-Ekspresis has completed an EU-supported €14m three-year modernisation of its coach and wagon maintenance workshop, increasing capacity by a factor of 2½ to 3 000 vehicles/year in an effort to expand in international markets.

Board member Rolands Gorodeckis said the workshop modernisation would enable it to offer ‘an even wider range of high-quality services to our current customers in the Baltic States and Russia, and enter new export markets’.

The company expects that rolling stock repair services will constitute half of its future turnover, with foreign projects increasing from 20% to 40% of its activities. Modern equipment has been acquired, including facilities for the abrasive removal of paint and the production and repair of wheelsets. A warehouse and an extension to the existing building have been built, and 50 jobs created.

‘A new production facility always means new technology, new products, new jobs and new added value’, said President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis. ‘This is one of the most advanced production facilities of this type in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe. The achievements of L-Ekspresis serve as a vivid example of successful integration of historical experience with new knowledge and innovative technologies, as well as the investment opportunities offered by EU funds.’

  • L-Ekspresis has put eight new Transmashholding sleeping cars into service on the routes from Riga to Moscow and St Petersburg.