Railway Transport

Lithuanian Railway Network

The length of railway lines in Lithuania totals 1868,8 km including 1520 mm track-1745.8 km and 1435 mm track – 123 km. 1520 mm track railways extend to the Baltic States and CIS, while 1435 mm track railways connect Lithuania with Poland and, through the latter, with West European states. Lithuanian railway lines include 104 stations, 545 crossings, 410 viaducts and rail bridges.

Review of the activities of the Lithuanian railways

The geographical position of Lithuania has determined that our country is crossed by two European transport corridors: North-South direction Corridor I Tallinn- Riga-Kaunas-Warsaw with its branch IA Siauliai-Kaliningrad-Gdansk, and the branches IXB Kiev-Minsk-Vilnius-Kaunas-Klaipėda and IXD Kaunas-Kaliningrad of the East-West direction Corridor IX.

These corridors were approved at the Conferences of the European Transport Ministers which took place in Crete and Helsinki. After Lithuania’s accession to the EU these corridors will become a part of the European transport network TEN-Tr. The European transport Corridor I is also included into the list of lines AGC, CIM, and CIV (AGC – European Agreement on Main International Railway Lines, CIM – Uniform Rules Concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Rail, CIV – Uniform Rules Concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail).

Review of the activities of the Lithuanian railways

The geographical position of Lithuania has determined that our country is crossed by two European transport corridors: North-South direction Corridor I Tallinn- Riga-Kaunas-Warsaw with its branch IA Siauliai-Kaliningrad-Gdansk, and the branches IXB Kiev-Minsk-Vilnius-Kaunas-Klaipėda and IXD Kaunas-Kaliningrad of the East-West direction Corridor IX.

These corridors were approved at the Conferences of the European Transport Ministers which took place in Crete and Helsinki. After Lithuania’s accession to the EU these corridors will become a part of the European transport network TEN-Tr. The European transport Corridor I is also included into the list of lines AGC, CIM, and CIV (AGC – European Agreement on Main International Railway Lines, CIM – Uniform Rules Concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Rail, CIV – Uniform Rules Concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail).

Infrastructure

The technical level of the Lithuanian rail sector infrastructure is still below the European one. Therefore, the modernization and development of the Lithuanian railway sector infrastructure is a basic condition of its successful integration into the European railway system. Priority is given to the renovation and modernization of the railway sector infrastructure on the international transport corridors. The main attention in the development of the railway sector infrastructure is being paid to ensure the technical interoperability of Lithuanian railways with the European railways, to meet the contemporary reguirements .of safety and environment protection, to increase the load of railways and the running speed of trains, to promote combined carriage activities.

Interoperability with the EU Railways

In order to improve technical interoperability of Lithuania‘s 1520 mm railway network with railways of other EU Member States and to preserve existing regional technical interoperability between railway systems of Baltic States, attention is paid to implementation of directives concerning technical interoperability.

Interoperability means the ability of a railway system to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of trains which accomplish the required levels of performance for these lines.

Designing, modernisation and construction of railway infrastructure as well as construction and production of rolling stock is based on uniform EU technical specifications of interoperability (TSIs) binding upon all the Member States and are applied both to high speed railway system and conventional railway system.

Directive 2008/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (Recast) regulates interoperability of the wide-track and European-track railway system as well as other track width systems in the EU Member States (the Greek (1000 mm), the Spanish (1688 mm), the Finnish (1524 mm) and the Irish (1600 mm). Provisions of this directive have been transposed to the Lithuanian legislation.

The EU and Lithuanian policy on the issues of railway infrastructure

The EU policy and requirements for the development of the railway infrastructure are set forth in the EU Directive 91/440/EEC on the Development of Community‘s Railways (as amended by Directive 2007/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways and Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure), in the development guidelines of the Trans-European Railway Network (TEN-T), in the EU Directive 96/48/EC on the Interoperability of the Trans-European High-Speed Railway System, in the EU Directive 2001/16/EC on the Interoperability of the Trans-European Conventional Railway System, in the 2011 EU White Paper ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’. The measures necessary for their implementation are set forth in the National Transport Development Programme 2014-2022, the State Investment Programme (VIP).

Investment Projects

Priorities of short terms are: modernisation of transeuropean railway lines, renovation of signal and electricity supply systems, reconstruction of transeuropean railways.

International cooperation

The decisions of the Parliament (the Seimas) and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the membership in international organizations and application of international agreements and rules play important role in ensuring international activities of railway transport sector, to develop passenger and freight transportation activities and railway infrastructure, to improve traffic safety and quality of services.

In 1992 the Republic of Lithuania became a member of the Organization for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD), and JSC ‘Lithuanian Railways’  became a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC).

In 1995 the Republic of Lithuania having joined the Convention Concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) became a member of the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF); from 2000 having ratified the relevant agreement the Republic of Lithuania participates in the Trans-European Railway (TER) project of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe; in 2001 the European Agreement on Main International Railway Lines (AGC) was ratified.

 

Narrow-gauge railway

The example of a unique cultural heritage, the Lithuanian narrow-gauge line (750 mm gauge) is the longest in Europe (68,4 km). On 10 May 2001 the public institution ‘Aukstaitijos siaurasis gelezinkelis’ (Narrow Gauge Railway of Upper Lithuania) was founded for the track Panevėžys-Anyksčiai-Rubikiai (the Ministry of Transport and Communications was one of its founders) in order to preserve, properly maintain, and integrate it into the regional tourism development programmes.

Lithuania participates in the implementation of the international transport project “Rail Baltica” which aims at connecting Warsaw, Kaunas, Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki by European gauge railway line. “Rail Baltica” route is considered as priority project No 27 of Trans-European transport network (TEN-T). This railway will considerably facilitate and accelerate the journeys of passengers as well as the transportation of cargo from the Baltic States and Finland to the Central Europe.

On 7 April 2010 Government of the Republic of Lithuania by its resolution No. 371 has acknowledged “Rail Baltica” as an economic project of State importance. On 11 October 2011 Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania by its resolution No XI-161 acknowledged „Rail Baltica“ as a Project of extreme national importance.  The project „Rail Baltica“ is being successfully implementing according to the Resolution No. 1802 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 23 December 2009 “On confirmation of the urgent plan of actions necessary for the implementation of „Rail Baltica“ project” and according to preparatory work plan for the construction of European standard railway line from Kaunas to the Lithuanian-Latvian border , which was approved by the Resolution No. 1195 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 26 September 2012.

Minister for Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania, having regard to the findings of the European standard railway line Kaunas – Lithuanian/Latvian border strategic environmental impact assessment report carried out by the JSC "SWECO Lithuania", on the 18 March 2015 issued order and approved priority alternative for the implementation of project is European gauge railway line Kaunas–Panevėžys–Lithuanian/Latvian border.

In the October 2014 AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited has concluded feasibility study on the inclusion of Vilnius junction in the “Rail Baltica” line.  And on the basis of the findings of this study it was decided to include Vilnius junction into “Rail Baltica” project.

You can find actual information “Rail Baltica” project here.

State Road Transport Inspectorate under the Ministry of Transport and Communications

Švitrigailos str. 42, 03209 Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel. +370 5 278 5601 
Fax +370 5 213 2270
E-mail: vkti@vkti.gov.lt
JCS Lithuanian Railways

Mindaugo str. 12, 03603 Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel. +370 5 2692038
Fax +370 5 2692128
E-mail:  lgkanc@litrail.lt

 


 
 

 

 

Investigation of Railway Undertakings Complaints

In order to implement Article 55 of the Directive 2012/44/EU, legal provisions of the Republic of Lithuania set out that the Communications Regulatory Authority is designated as a regulatory body for handling disputes of rail market shares and making appropriate decisions.

Decisions on any complaints are taken with reference to Rules on investigation of the complaints of railway undertakings (carriers), approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, 19 May 2010, No 553.

A decision must be taken within a maximum period of 42 days from receipt of all necessary information for complaint investigation. Made decisions can be reviewed following national legal provisions. 

Investigation of Railway Passengers Complaints

Protection of passengers’ rights referred to in Regulation (EC) No. 1371/2007 is ensured by the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority, which deals with passengers' complaints about infringements of their rights.

Last updated: 30-11-2016