Latvia: Vivi council resigns over electric train crisis

Members of the supervisory council of Latvia’s state-owned passenger train operator, Pasazieru Vilciens (Vivi), have resigned, LSM reports. The company has come under heavy criticism because of recurring problems with new electric trains delivered by the Czech manufacturer, Skoda Vagonka. Vivi’s council chairman, Sandis Steins, insisted that responsibility for the problems was beyond the council’s powers. He noted that the government had failed to allocate funding for new trains, which would have allowed to replace defective trains. Also, Steins pointed to the long-neglected railway infrastructure and dysfunctional passenger notification system. Meanwhile, Transport Minister Kaspars Briskens has ordered a full external audit of the procurement process for the electric trains, LETA reported. The ruling coalition insisted that the delays with the delivery of the new trains were Vivi’s responsibility.