Railway line from Vilnius to Minsk prepared for electrification

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FIMA professionals are installing catenary poles for the overhead contact line on the section of railway between Naujoji Vilnia and the Belarus border which is being electrified. A total of 1,400 catenary poles will be installed on the 28.6 kilometres section.

Concrete substructures for catenary poles have been cast and the supports have been installed on three sections: Naujoji Vilnia to Kyviškės, Kyviškės to Kena, and Kena to the Belarus border.

FIMA casts 12 substructures and 10 catenary poles are installed each day. During the next stage of work, brackets will be placed on the supports along with the overhead cable its supporting wire. To achieve this, FIMA has invested in customised equipment for laying the contact grid cables, with delivery planned in the autumn.

The foundations for the first catenary on the electrified line were cast in April. Overall, the substructure will use more than 5,000 tons of concrete, while the catenaries will use over 3,000 tons of steel. Copper and bronze cables for the overhead contact line and supporting line will run over 300 kilometres.

Work on the Naujoji Vilnia traction substation is also picking up pace; it will supply electricity to the railway contact grid. Disassembly works at the substation are now complete, and construction of foundations for the new facilities is in progress. Once complete, the new installations will cargo hauling by electric trains. At the moment, it is only possible to use diesel locomotives in Lithuania. In contrast, electric locomotives are faster, more powerful, more cost efficient and kinder to the environment.

This is the first railway electrification project since Lithuania regained its independence. Once the railway section is electrified, trains will be able to travel at speeds of up to 160 km/h. Meanwhile, Belarusian Railways is in process of electrifying the section from the state border to Molodecno.