posted on 20th Dec 2022 15:52
At the end of 2022, there were already five Panter EMUs in Riga, produced by the Škoda Group for Pasažieru vilciens. Following the successive arrival of the 16Ev-02 unit in June and the 16Ev-03 in July, the 16Ev-04 was also brought here in early October, namely on 7 October 2022, the second pair of cars with the respective roof components and bogies, the first two cars having arrived from Ostrava a week earlier. After that, the cars of units 16Ev-05 and 06 were delivered to Riga by the same road via Poland and Lithuania. Set 16Ev-01 is still in Pilsen for the time being.
In Riga, the cars are laid onto broad-gauge bogies, the roof elements of the electrical equipment are fitted and the work necessary to start testing is carried out. The first two EMUs are already being used for testing on the line to Aizkraukle (south-east of Riga). At the time the picture was taken, the 16Ev-05 was finished and 06 was in the assembly. On 7 September 2022, a public presentation of the 16Ev-02 to the Latvian public took place, but the use of the new trains in passenger test operation, which was planned to start sometime during the autumn, has not yet taken place.
On 20 December 2022, the Škoda Group announced: "The biggest obstacle to the whole order now is the need to assemble the trains in Riga, which results from the fact that we have to transport incomplete cars by road instead of complete trains by rail. This is, of course, a much more time-consuming solution. The war in Ukraine has changed our plans and is still affecting the prototype unit, but also the delivery of the batch. We are looking for a solution with our Latvian partners, but the situation is exceptional and further delays cannot be ruled out. We currently expect a delay of at least four months. We are doing everything in our power to minimise the delay, but there are some objective circumstances beyond our control. However, we are confident that the first train will be homologated soon and that others will follow. There are already several other units in Ostrava at a high stage of development". PV expects to receive all 32 EMUs approved for operation by the end of 2023.
On 19 September 2022, PV signed a contract with Spanish firm ACYGS Sales Management to develop a depot design concept for the maintenance and repair of rolling stock. The contract worth is 86,248 EUR excluding VAT and has a four-month delivery period. The planned location of the new depot is on the territory of Vagonu park depot in Riga. The developer of the new depot concept won the open tender with two bidders.
The tender documentation for the public contract was prepared according to the instructions of Latvijas dzelzceļš. The developed concept will be the basis for further decision-making on the transfer of the land needed for the project to the ownership of Pasažieru vilciens, as well as for the public procurement of the design and construction of the new depot.