The Implementing Body of Rail Baltica in Latvia – Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, Ltd. – has announced an international tender for the construction of the Rail Baltica station along with the associated infrastructure at Riga International Airport.
The scope of the tender includes constructing the Rail Baltica station building in Riga International Airport, the overpass, access roads, embankment, a 6km section of railway track and an overpass over K. Ulmaņa gatve.
Phase 1 will consist of selecting suitable candidates and will take place in January 2020. The required qualifications are substantial. Candidates must have a wealth of experience in construction works of public buildings, railway tracks and new roads. The Implementing Body is insisting on these qualifications to ensure that the airport continues to operate smoothly and that there is no interference with commercial activities during the construction period.
“Rail Baltica railway connection to Riga Airport is a modern, convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to passenger mobility. It will expand the Airport catchment area to Lithuania and Estonia. This connection is also important for traffic coming into Riga. By setting up a park & ride available at the Airport, residents will reach Riga centre by train in eight minutes.”
The construction works will take place in six stages. The first stage will see the construction of the station building, which has three levels. This stage also includes constructing the overpass building structures and access roads with all the associated infrastructure.
Next, the contractor will create the building façade with wood as the dominant element. This is a nod to the Latvian architectural tradition, which makes great use of wood.
Works will then progress to creating the mechanical systems and interior decorations and improvements. After that, the contractor will build an overpass between Rīga and Jaunmārupe.
As a space-efficient solution the design places the Rail Baltica station on a railway overpass. There will also be an embankment and a 113m railway overpass over K. Ulmaņa gatve. The final stage will see the construction of two railway tracks, which will allow the Rail Baltica express trains to run four times a day, and the shuttle train to run at roughly half-hour intervals to connect the airport with Riga Central Station. Once operational, rail travel times between the two will be eight minutes.
“Rail Baltica station will be the first high-speed rail and air traffic connection hub in the Baltic States. The builder will be required to fully integrate the new station, railway tracks, all systems and structures in the current infrastructure making a modern and multi-functional passenger servicing complex, which will be connected to the airport passenger terminal. Solutions of Rail Baltica station balancing comfort of passengers – accessibility and architectonic ambitions are created in such a way as to provide passengers with more comfortable access including higher level of comfort and mobility. Rail Baltica station in Riga International Airport will be a new face of Riga International Airport for many decades to come.”
One of the benefits of how the infrastructure has been planned is that it will be possible to expand freight processing services. This is because the freight railway branch will also be connected to the airport territory.
After the first phase of the international tender – the candidate selection process – there will be a second, final phase. The second phase covers the candidates’ submission of proposals and contract negotiations and the end of 2020. Construction works should then begin in 2021.
The current estimated value of the contract is 250–280 million euros. Like the rest of the Rail Baltica project, funding will be received for each stage of works separately. It will come partly from the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funds. The Latvian Ministry of Transport is also contributing funds.
“Today’s tender commences preparations for the second construction project within the Rail Baltica project in Latvia. With this tender, one of the most important tasks is to ensure wide participation of local and foreign construction companies to achieve adequate offers based on the current market situation and the scope of the procurement.
“Meanwhile other activities in the Rail Baltica project are progressing. Design works in Latvia are ongoing in 123 km from the main line where geotechnical field works have started in November. In addition, procurement of the design services has been announced for the remaining 139 km.”
This is the first construction design of a new passenger station in Latvia since 1937.
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