„Baltic Railways Magazine” number fifteen

Cover story  Rail Baltica is expected to start bringing gains in 2015  Whilst the other partners in the Rail Baltica project appear to be suffering from dragging brakes, Lithuania is steaming ahead on the section from the border with Poland to Kaunas. Officials and politicians discuss their hopes for the future of the project. Mentioned in the editorial because the news of its approval by the Lithuanian Seimas came too late for an article, is Rail Baltica 2; a proposed high speed railway from Kaunas to Vilnius.

4·9 million passengers for Lithuanian Railways in 2013  All three Baltic railways had a successful 2013. This article analyses the figures, highlights developments for 2014 including on-line booking and information systems, and new passenger trains.

Latvian Railways had a positive 2013  This report highlights the problems facing Latvian Railways in compensating for a drop in freight as Russia pursues a policy of diverting freight to its own ports.

Kaliningrad Railways freight up 4·3% in 2013  Quality indicators also showed improvements.

New agreement on cross border travel between Kaliningrad and Poland came into force on 1 January 2014.

New breakdown cranes for Lithuanian Railways  As Network rail abandons traditional breakdown trains and switches to hiring road-going cranes, Lithuania has bought massive new rail mounted cranes. Very impressive machines!

Riga builds additional units for ČME3 shunting locomotives  Probably not well known here is that some cab-less ČME3B (B for booster) locomotives were built in the Soviet era to avoid double heading when shunting. Latvian Railways has resurrected this idea and built a new booster locomotive. As with the earlier boosters, it doesn’t have a cab, but neither does it have a diesel engine, the power to drive the electric motors coming from the ČME3M to which it is connected.

New wheel cleaning machines contribute to passenger safety  Highly effective wheel and axle cleaning machine enables flaws and cracks to be easily detected.

New developments on the track  Latvian Railways lay oil absorbing sheeting to prevent pollution at stations, and Vossloh describes its new W21 high elasticity rail fastening system.

And now a treat for all those who keep asking for narrow gauge
Reconstructed Lithuanian narrow gauge railway ready for tourist influx  The Siaurukas or ASG 750mm narrow gauge railway from Panevėžys to Rubikiai has had a make-over in recent months. A ten page article based on an interview with the Director of the railway Gintaras Kerbedis, gives information about the changes, and hopes for future developments. Illustrated with eight photos and one map.

History  Information about the international agreements which allowed for rail travel between the three Baltic states between 1920 and 1940.

In English and Lithuanian (a Lithuanian and Russian edition is also available)