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7 Feb 2018

Belarus-Latvia rail freight traffic up 4.5% in 2017

MINSK, 7 February (BelTA) – Rail freight traffic between Belarus and Latvia went up by 4.5% in 2017, BelTA learned from the press service of Belarusian Railways.

“Head of Belarusian Railways Vladimir Morozov and President of Latvian Railways Edvins Berzins are holding talks in Minsk from 6 to 7 February. The sides touched upon a number of topical matters of bilateral cooperation and the results of interaction in Belarus-Latvia rail passenger and freight traffic in 2017. They also mapped out certain measures to keep developing their cooperation,” the press service remarked.

In 2017, the volume of goods transported by rail through the Bigosovo-Indra border point reached 23 million tonnes, up 4.5% versus 2016. The cargo train ZUBR operating between Belarus and Latvia delivered some 5,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in 2017.

Vladimir Morozov and Edvins Berzins discussed ways to augment Belarus-Latvia passenger traffic. They paid special attention to the progress in the implementation of the memorandum of cooperation in Belarus-Russia high-speed rail freight traffic. The sides will continue the work to launch express rail freight service Minsk-Riga-Minsk in test mode, and also to form a cargo base for the project.

The executives also talked about measures to advance communication. The two companies will continue to operate empty freight cars, which do not belong to the freight carrier, by using electronic documents on the route Latvia-Belarus-Russia and vice versa. “In October 2017, the rail administrations switched over to electronic shipping documents with e-signature to operate empty freight cars, which do not belong to the freight carrier, on the route Latvia-Belarus-Russia and vice versa,” the press service noted.

Vladimir Morozov and Edvins Berzins exchanged plans to electrify rail sections. Edvins Berzins commended the positive experience of the Belarusian colleagues in railway electrification.

Passenger train No.87/88 runs between Minsk and Riga every other day. In 2017, the traffic stood at nearly 25,000 passengers.

The work to promote passenger traffic between the capitals of Belarus and Latvia will continue. The sides pointed to the viability of stepping up the joint efforts during the 2019 European Games and the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

During the visit, the Latvian colleagues are also expected to learn more about the infrastructure of Belarusian Railways.


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