Border and customs inspections for train passengers en route to Minsk to be relocated to Vilnius

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The procedures covering passengers travelling to and from Minsk by train will change in May. Inspections by customs and border officers – which are currently carried out on the Lithuanian border – will now be undertaken at the railway station in Vilnius. The change will reduce delays to trains by introducing faster and more efficient inspections.

After winning the public tender for the work, Fima, the electronic engineering solutions provider, is in the process of installing the most up-to-date equipment at the new border crossing and customs control checkpoint.

Engineers from the company are setting up new offices for State Border Guard Service and Customs officers and will install a modern luggage x-ray system in the station’s underpass.

“The capacity of the new x-ray system that is being installed at Vilnius railway station allows to check up to 700 luggage items per hour. This is going to make the security procedures much faster and smoother, meaning that customers will not have to spend long passing through the checkpoint,” said Giedrius Zaicevas, director of Fima’s Security Solutions Department.

A video surveillance system, which will record passenger flows and ensure platform and station security, is also to be installed in the underpass where all of the border and customs checks will be carried out.

According to Dalijus Žebrauskas, deputy director of the passenger transportation directorate at Lithuanian Railways, improving customs and border procedures with the new checkpoint will cut the journey time between the Lithuanian and Belarusian capitals by 30 minutes to just two and a half hours. “We’re installing the new checkpoint because of increasing numbers of passengers on the route between Minsk and Vilnius. At the moment, this is one of the most popular international train routes in Lithuania. More than 22,000 passengers travel by train between Vilnius and Minsk every month. This number is likely to grow further from the end of May when the number of trains running between the capitals will increase from two to three a day,” added Mr Žebrauskas.