Continuing their longstanding cooperation, AB Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (LitRail) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a EUR 68 million loan in support of the modernisation of rail infrastructure and rolling stock in Lithuania.

The EIB first worked with LitRail in 1996 and has since supported the company in modernising its locomotives and other rolling stock as well as upgrading its infrastructure. The current project consists of several railway infrastructure upgrading and renewal schemes throughout Lithuania and renewal of the rolling stock for passenger services in the country.

Albertas Šimėnas, Deputy Director General of Lithuanian Railways said: “Modernisation of railway infrastructure is one of our top priorities. Our long-lasting cooperation with the EIB contributes to the implementation of a variety of projects that are significant not only for Lithuania, but for the whole of Europe too.”

The infrastructure schemes include track duplication, renewal and electrification on several sections of the Kena – Vilnius – Kaišiadorys – Radviliškis – Klaipėda line. The project will also address the renewal and extension of the Klaipėda railway hub and some complementary traffic safety and noise abatement measures. Upon completion, it will help to remove bottlenecks and increase the capacity of the lines, so that 1 050 m long 6 000t freight trains can use these tracks.

EIB Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori, responsible for operations in the Baltic countries, added: “Lietuvos Geležinkeliai is a key chain link in the Lithuanian economy and the EIB is glad it can contribute to this important modernisation programme, which will benefit all Lithuanians who use the railways on a daily basis. Sustainable forms of transport have long been an EIB priority and will continue to be so in the coming years.”

The rolling stock component concerns the acquisition of seven three-car diesel multiple units for passenger railway services. These new units will replace existing obsolete rolling stock thus improving commercial attractiveness, efficiency, environmental performance, availability and reliability of the fleet.