FIMA begins to electrify the rail line between Naujoji Vilnia and Belarus border

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Work to electrify the rail line between Naujoji Vilnia and the Lithuanian border with Belarus has been started at Naujoji Vilnia railway station. It is the country’s second railway electrification project and the first since Lithuania regained independence. Once complete, it will reduce the cost of transporting passengers and freight between Lithuania and Belarus as well as cutting pollution.

Experience of successful railway modernisation projects in Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, FIMA has become the project’s main contractor. The company will be responsible for electrifying the railway line on the Lithuanian side. Belarus, in turn, will electrify the rail link that runs from the Lithuanian border up to Maladzyechna. The two countries will co-operate and co-ordinate operations. The entire modernisation project is planned to be completed in March 2016.

“I am in no doubt that by working together, Lithuanian railways and FIMA’s team of experienced professionals will successfully connect Lithuania and Belarus with a modern electrified rail line. Both businesses and residents will benefit from the upgraded rail link as will bilateral relations between the two countries,” FIMA’s general manager, Gintaras Juknevičius, said.

FIMA is responsible for stringing nearly 138km of copper and more than 165km of bronze overhead contact lines between Naujoji Vilnia and the border with Belarus and more than 2,000 metal structures. The project involves electrifying a section of railway that is 28.6 km in length and the reconstruction of a tractive substation in Naujoji Vilnia. The project will be partly financed by EU funding.

On December 15, a foundation was laid on the platform at Naujoji Vilnia station for the first support pole of the overhead contact line. Witnessed by representatives from the government, business, local politicians and the media, a time capsule with a letter to future generations was symbolically buried underneath it.

According to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevičius, it is vital that the newly electrified line attracts larger volumes of freight to Klaipėda Seaport in the future. “The line between the state border with Belarus and Klaipėda should become the main corridor for cargo exported from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, the countries in Central Asia and China to Lithuania,” he said.