Electrification of Vilnius-Klaipėda, the most heavily used railway line in Lithuania, is underway

The electrification of the Vilnius-Klaipėda railway line, including the Vilnius hub—one of the largest railway infrastructure modernisation projects in Lithuania—has reached its halfway point. The works implemented, including the completion of the electrification sections and the construction of the traction substation, an important piece of the project, have been inspected and evaluated by the Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.

The Vilnius-Klaipėda railway artery is the most heavily used railway line in the country, so its electrification is important for the nation-wide infrastructure. Last year, it accounted for around 40% of freight traffic and 16% of passenger traffic.

With the completion this year of the 42 km-long Vilnius hub and the 122 km-long Kaišiadorys-Radviliškis overhead contact line, a total of 164 km of overhead contact line will have been built out of the 363 km of overhead contact line that comprises the entire Vilnius-Klaipėda electrification project. In addition to the overhead line construction works, the electrification project includes the construction of six traction substations, their connection to LITGRID’s power network and testing, as well as the construction of eight autotransformer stations to ensure voltage stability in the overhead line.

“This is a project of strategic importance for Lithuania, and in this case the electrification of the most heavily used railway line in the country will allow for greener journeys for all passengers on the electric trains to be purchased. Railway electrification is of high priority both in Lithuania and throughout the European Union,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.

Three railway lines in Lithuania have now been fully electrified: Vilnius-Kaunas, Vilnius-Trakai and Vilnius-Kena. This represents 8% of the country’s total network, and the completion of the electrification project will bring the country’s electrified track length to almost 27%.

Egidijus Lazauskas, CEO of LTG, emphasises the Group’s long-term commitment to contributing to the development of a sustainable transport system in Lithuania: “This commitment covers both infrastructure projects and services for passengers and businesses. As the electrification of Lithuania’s main railway artery, Vilnius-Klaipėda, nears the halfway point of the project, we are also buying modern electric and battery-electric trains that will provide a new travel culture and experience. We are also planning to purchase electric locomotives for freight transport for the first time in the Group’s history. This means we are taking gradual steps of moving towards a clean transport future.”

“Once completed, the modernisation of the Vilnius-Klaipėda section will give the country’s most important railway line a new impetus, both in terms of increasing the competitiveness of the national transport sector as a whole and reducing its environmental impact. It is estimated that the electrification of the line will help avoid more than 150,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, and the economic benefits of the project, such as lower fossil fuel costs, are also very important,” emphasises Rūta Jakubauskienė, Acting Director General of LTG Infra.

Together with LTG Group representatives, representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the President’s Office visited Kyviškės and Vaidotai railway stations, inspected the construction sites of the contact plaster, the installation of the driven foundations, and the construction of the Žeimiai traction substation in the Jonava District.

Electrification project in figures

Six traction substations will power the electrified railway line in: Lentvaris, Žeimiai, Linkaičiai, Tarvainiai, Kretinga and Žasliai. The construction of the Lentvaris traction substation is currently being completed and the connection of LITGRID’s 110 kV power supply and testing of the substation’s operation is planned for the next month. The construction of the Žeimiai substation is expected to be completed by the end of this year, followed by the construction of three new traction substations in Linkačiai, Tarvainiai and Kretinga as well as the reconstruction of the traction substation in Žasliai. The construction of the new substations and the reconstruction of the substation in Žasliai is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year and early 2025.

The electrification project also includes the construction of eight autotransformer stations. Construction of 6 of the 8 autotransformer stations is scheduled for completion this year. The autotransformer stations are needed to ensure voltage stability on the overhead line and are located approximately every 68 km on the Kaišiadorys-Klaipėda line.

The total investment in the electrification project is planned at EUR 411.26 million, about half of which–EUR 200 million—will come from the EU Cohesion Fund.