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A letter of intent for the launch of a Warszawa – Vilnius passenger service was signed by the Lithuanian national railway’s passenger business LTG Link and its Polish counterpart PKP Intercity on September 17.
The service is expected to start in late 2021, offering a journey time between the two capitals of 8 h including a change of trains at the break-of-gauge in Kaunas. Initial ridership is estimated at 35 000 passengers/year. The need to change trains would be removed once the 1 435 mm gauge tracks are extended to Vilnius as part of the Rail Baltica project.
‘A train from Vilnius to Warszawa is one of the fundamental promises we have given our passengers’, said LTG Link CEO Linas Baužys. ‘We understand how important is to offer a convenient yet environment-friendly way to reach Warszawa from our capital city. We have close cultural and social ties with Poland, many of us have relatives and friends in this country.’ He anticipated that ‘the Vilnius – Warsaw connection will open convenient opportunities to travel throughout Europe by using the Eurail pass.’
An agreement for the creation of a joint venture to handle international intermodal traffic has also been signed by PKP Cargo and the Polish subsidiary of LTG Cargo. Expected to begin operating in Q1 2021, the joint venture will primarily focus on intermodal transport between Lithuania and Poland, as well as offering services to terminals in Germany and northern Italy.
Freight traffic between the two countries currently totals about 24 million tonnes/year, but only 600 000 tonnes of this goes by rail.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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