LDz has the lowest cost per 1 km of deployed path, ensuring a high quality infrastructure. In fact, Latvian railway is able to support the infrastructure of a high quality at a cost that is 37% less than in Lithuania, and less than 20% less than in Estonia. A. Strokes also said that LDz is one of those rare in Europe, infrastructure managers, which ensure its business activities without state support.
Speaking about the cost of services to customers, A. Strokes explains that it is comprised of at least three components, the possibility of regulating them at the state level are different. The first is a charge for use of railway infrastructure for public use, which is calculated in accordance with the approved methodology and Regulator which allows managing the infrastructure to contain the route, stations, sidings and other infrastructure at a certain level of quality that meets the needs of the economy. "In Latvia we can do that with the least costs of 1 km. It is those infrastructure costs that are affected by inflation and rising wages, but on the other hand, the volume of traffic. Namely, if traffic volumes fall, the cost of 1 unit increase," says A. Strokes, adding that in the calculation of charges for rail infrastructure includes wage and related social benefits, as the sector of railway freight transport to ensure the safety of traffic and people, requires highly skilled professionals.
A second important component of costs is the tariff of the rail carrier established on market principles, each individual carrier depending on their fuel costs, depreciation, personnel and other expenses. Moreover, each customer can choose the carrier offering the most favorable terms. The third factor is related to other freight transportation services, e.g., services of terminals, port payment, shipping. The customer or the owner of the cargo, of course, assesses the relationship of all of these costs, as well as the quality and consistency of all enabled services.
A. Strokes in an interview also pointed out that over the last 10 years in the infrastructure of the Latvian railway as a whole was invested about 1 billion euros – this funding was used to upgrade existing infrastructure and implement new development projects. In addition, most projects have been implemented with the involvement of financial means from European Union funds, which helped to increase the competitiveness of Latvian railway, without imposing at the same time these costs on the shoulders of market participants.