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European Railroad Discussion > Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia

Date: 01/04/22 11:14
Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia
Author: gobbl3gook

Latvia is a small country along the east coast of the Baltic Sea.  It has an east-west orientation, with Russia and Belarus to the east, Lithuania to the south, and Estonia to the north.  

In 2016 there was no passenger rail service between Latvia and Lithuania.  The shortest missing gap was in the east, from Daugavpils, Latvia to Turamantas, Lithuania.  (Today there is a once-a-week Ukrainian Kyiv - Riga train that connects Vilnius, Lithuania with Riga, Latvia)  (And the Baltic Railway is under construction, will connect Poland to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia with a European standard gauge railway).  

The Daugava River flows from Russia into Belarus and Latvia before arriving at the Baltic Sea.  Riga is at the mouth of the river, Daugavpils is a fortress city near the Belarusan border.  The Daugava runs parralel to the Dniper River in Belarus, and was a historic short-portage route between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.  The Vikings controlled some of the Black Sea ~1000 years ago through this connection.  (The Dnieper flows south, through Kyiv, to the Black Sea)

I found a hostel, and explored the city a bit.  The tram line is pretty extensive for a small city, 5 different termini.  I rode out to the fortress.  Not particularly remarkable, but a pleasant day of exploration in a small city in the former USSR.  

The next day I bicycled south on Route EV11/LT13 to Visaginas, Lithuana and took a train to Vilnius.  (See open cycle map for route)

I sure liked the picture-window views from the trams.  

1) Downtown shopping mall
2) Inside the tram.  The best way to take photos is to sit in back, so as not to make people uncomfortable, and not to capture faces.  
3) Western terminus at the fortress

September 2016.  

Comments, questions, observations?  

Ted in OR


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/22 13:28 by gobbl3gook.

Date: 01/04/22 11:28
Re: Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia
Author: gobbl3gook

I hadn't learned about the openrailwaymap version of openstreetmap.  So I couldn't get an instant birds-eye view of the tram system.  I now see that there is a tram barn at a northwest terminus.  

Using openrailwaymap and Google maps, we can find spots of interest, then check them out on Google StreetView.  

Tram barn
https://goo.gl/maps/pXBrLYVaAE5NWHXy8 (you can barely see some tram roofs) 

Tram stop by the freight yards.  Kind of a backyard-type operation.  

Tram terminus by a lake.  Also a backwoodsy type ambiance.  
https://goo.gl/maps/TTXRfyR53DQMHK21A (You can see the balloon track through the trees)

Train station terminus.  

2 trams visible in the StreetView image at the downtown junction.  

Latvia has lost about 20% of its population to emmigration since joining the EU around 2000.  So, empty buildings in the dusty older industrial cities.  Maybe they'd be empty even without national population loss, because people move to the larger cities.  

Ted in OR


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/22 13:30 by gobbl3gook.

Date: 01/06/22 11:19
Re: Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia
Author: 86235

Daugavpils is a fascinating city, almost more Russian than Latvian. The tram network has expanded in recent years and been modernised. Route 3 was re-routed and lengthened in 2020, I was there shortly after it opened. They've also modernised the equipment.

1: An old Soviet KTM5 tram on the new extension
2: A newer KTM 71-623 passing the Cathedral of Saints Boris and Gleb
3: The most modern vehicles, note the pantograph, are Russian built TVZ 71-911 in deceptively rural looking surroundings.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/22 11:25 by 86235.

Date: 01/06/22 20:08
Re: Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia
Author: ironmtn

I really enjoyed this set very much - thanks. All of your eastern European travels and images have been interesting, but this set is particularly so. I don't think I have ever seen any images of Latvian trams, and certainly not from the city of Daugavpils. Which was for me a completely new spot on the map (and I have a pretty decent knowledge of European geography). All things considered, pretty remarkable, really.

Much appreciated!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/22 20:29 by ironmtn.

Date: 01/09/22 00:20
Re: Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia
Author: gobbl3gook

I found 3 more photos of tram infrastructure.  

Date: 01/09/22 00:24
Re: Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia
Author: gobbl3gook

86235, thanks for the info and additional photos.  I was surprised to find 5 termini on the map when I looked last week, interesting, and positive, that they recently expanded their system.  

I'm glad you like the photos, Ironmtn.  

Here are a few bonus photos: Featuring Vanishing Points and pretty clouds  

1) Detraining at sunset, Daugavpils passenger station
2) Street scene in downtown.  
3) Freight yards.  From the pedestriam overpass by the train station.  Note no electrification.  There was a large diesel repair shop, too.  I'll start posting photos regularly again soon, will cover more of this area.  

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/22 13:26 by gobbl3gook.

Date: 01/09/22 00:27
Re: Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia
Author: gobbl3gook

And a few more: 

2 pretty churches.  And one photo of the hostel, bicycle ready to head south to lithuania.

Date: 01/10/22 14:35
Re: Tram Tuesday -- Daugavpils, Latvia
Author: ironmtn

Thanks for all of the additional images. It's always interesting to visit cities like this which are not on the usual tourist itineraries.


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