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Modernisation of the tramway in Liepaja (Latvia)

Tramcar 240 240 (ex Erfurt) on completely renewed infrastructure in an old building area with traditional architecture | © Gunter Mackinger

The Latvian coastal city of Liepaja operates one of only three tramway systems in Latvia. The metre-gauge tram started operation in 1899. Since 1972, there is only one line serving the 76,000 inhabitants of the town. It is double-track throughout and connects an industrial zone via the main railway station and the old town-center with a modern residential area. The total length of the line is 7.9 km, the condition of its infrastructure is good and it is therefore well prepared for a new generation of vehicles which are to be introduced soon. The trams still use the old depot installation built in 1899, which are located in the immediate vicinity of the main railway station.

16 TATRA KT4 (newly delivered to Liepaja/Libau in the SU version and KT4D from Cottbus, Gera and Erfurt) are in service, but new vehicles were already ordered in order to modernize the system: The municipal tramway operating company of Liepaja has ordered 6 four-axle 100% low-floor tramcars of the NT2300 model from KONCAR in Croatia, and there is an option for 8 additional vehicles. The delivery is scheduled for 2020/21. Until then you can still experience one of the last 100% TATRA KT4 operations, with an intensive 7 minutes headway on the route, which is the oldest electric tram in the Baltics.

Network map: http://urbanrail.net/eu/lv/liepa/liepaja.htm

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