Rail transport is one of the most perspective means of land transport both considering security and ecology aspects. Railroad already plays a significant role in Latvian economy. The rail freight volumes constitute around 52% of the country's total land transport volume. 85% of rail freight is transit traffic mainly from Russia and Belarus to Latvian ports (East-West Transit Corridor) with domestic transport reaching only 5% which can be explained with relatively short transportation distances.

Due to reforms carried out in line with European rail development policies providing for the necessity to liberalize the sector, two successfully working private capital companies -
"Baltic Express" and  "Baltic transit service" – have joined Latvian freight market several years ago transporting by now 20% from total volumes. This is one of the highest rates in Europe.

International rail passenger transport is currently provided to Russia and Belarus. Services are offered by "LDZ Cargo" Ltd in cooperation with "L-Express" LLCJoint Stock Company "Passenger Train" is the only domestic provider of public transport services carrying passengers across Latvian territory by rail.

Public railway infrastructure is developed according to the needs of the economy and is managed by a Joined Stock Company "Latvian Railway" founded by the State. A number of projects financed by European Union funds, as well as with the state budget co- financing are being implemented to increase the level of infrastructure security and to ensure infrastructure development. In the future the main trunk line electrification is also planned in the Riga region both for economic and ecological reasons. The laws and regulations system for rail industry is harmonized with European Union legislation and the requirements on the rail transport market liberalization on public administration and road safety are implemented in practice.

Railway cargo turnover 2007 - 2017 (million t)

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Cargo structure on Railways 2017

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Railway freight traffic comparison



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