19-04-2024

Lithuania to get new electric trains under EIB-NIB-LTG Link deal

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and LTG Link have signed a financing agreement for the purchase of electric and battery-powered trains.

NIB and the EIB will provide loans of €100 million each to finance nine electric and six battery trains, which will replace about one-third of the passenger train fleet.

The new trains will not only be more comfortable than diesel trains, but will also reduce journey times. Low-floor cars will make boarding easier for older people, pregnant women, parents with small children and all passengers with reduced mobility.

The electrification of the train fleet will also be environmentally friendly, with the new trains set to reduce the CO2 emissions of passenger transport by an estimated 6 500 tonnes per year. In addition, the scaled back diesel use will result in an estimated 39 000 tonne reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions per year. All electric trains will use electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

“This agreement not only paves the way for significant renewal of the train fleet in Lithuania, but also strengthens our railway integration with Europe. This is particularly important in order to further improve and popularize rail transportation, expand sustainable travel options, and increase the number of passengers. This is a new stage in the Lithuanian railway sector, with the company giving up any ties, train parts or maintenance from eastern neighbors,” said Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.

“We are taking another step towards a clean transport future by fulfilling the Group's commitment to contribute to the development of a sustainable transport system in Lithuania. This requires integrated solutions that include both infrastructure projects and services for passengers and businesses. As the electrification of Lithuania's main railway artery, Vilnius-Klaipėda, progresses, we are procuring modern electric trains that will create a new travel culture and experience,” added LTG CEO Egidijus Lazauskas.

Testing of the Swiss-built electric trains in Lithuania is scheduled to begin next year, and the company's customers will start travelling on the first of the new trains in mid-2026. By purchasing these trains, LTG Link will also procure the supply of train parts and technical support services for a very long period of time — until 2037.

The new trains will operate on the popular Vilnius-Klaipėda, Vilnius-Varėna and Kaunas-Siauliai routes. As part of the electrification of the railways, battery-powered trains will run on non-electrified lines.

“Sustainable transport is a high priority for us,” said EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros. “The transition to an electrified railway fleet will benefit both passengers and the environment. As the EU climate bank, we are committed to meeting the European Union's climate goals and the partnership with LTG Link and NIB is a good example of this.”

Both the EIB and NIB have provided financing for LTG Group projects in the past, with the EIB funding the previous set of trains slated for replacement. This is the sixth NIB loan to be granted for rail transport development in Lithuania.

“With the ongoing cooperation with LTG Group companies, we are helping to green the transportation sector, which is still one of the main emitters in Lithuania,” said NIB Vice-President and Head of Lending Jeanette Vitasp. “Through this fleet renewal, LTG Link is not only making their operations more environmentally friendly but can also encourage more travellers to choose trains over cars for their journeys.”

The value of the trains, related services and spare parts to be purchased is €226.5 million.