In 2019, the “Latvijas dzelzcels” SJSC (LDZ, Latvian Railway) celebrates the 100th anniversary of its foundation. Therefore, throughout the year it is planned to hold in Latvia educational, cultural and business events dedicated to the anniversary.
The railways are not only rails, therefore throughout the anniversary year it will be possible to learn more about the role they played in art and architecture, and what is going to happen after the railway stations cease to perform their “direct duties”. One will also have the opportunity to learn more about the history of railways.
Origins in Liepaja
The first railway line in Latvia was opened as far back as in 1861, but the railway company was established much later - only at the beginning of the XX-th century, after the First World War. Liepaja is considered the “cradle” of the Latvian Railway, where at the beginning of 1919 the first locomotives and Liepaja Railway Workshops with all the equipment were associated to the company. These workshops were taken over by Gustavs Klaustins, who was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Latvian Railways on 1 August 1919, while the workshops themselves became the leading subsidiary enterprise of the Latvian State Railways, which can also be called the forerunner of “LDZ Ritosa sastava serviss”.
Events for the admirers of culture and business environment
Celebrating its first 100th anniversary, Latvijas dzelzcejs plans various events to suit every taste - both for culture admirers and for those who are interested in current events in the transport industry and its future trends. A variety of activities in connection with the 100th anniversary of LDZ are planned in the Museum of the History of the Latvian Railway, where a special Jubilee week is planned for the summer. During it, anyone can attend lectures on the railway subjects and its role in various fields, for example, in cinema, architecture and art. In the year of the 100th anniversary, Latvijas dzelzcejs will also publish a book and audiovisual works about the railway history.
Every year in spring, the Latvian Railway participates in the Great Subbotnik (Saturday clean-up event), during which employees of the concern are engaged in cleaning up the terrain and planting of greenery in order to improve the environment - this is a tradition of railway workers that has been existing for decades. This year, in honour of the 100th anniversary of the enterprise, 100 lindens and oaks, being symbols of strength and longevity in Latvian culture, have been planted in the sports and recreation center ‘Vyrohna’ of the Trade Union of Railway and Latvian Communications Industry Workers in the Daugavpils region.
In addition to the cultural events this year, an annual conference “Global Transport Development Challenges” will be organised by VAS LDZ this year the mark of the 100th anniversary. It will bring together high-level industry experts from around the world to discuss how the events ongoing in the world’s politics, economics, science and society influence the transport and logistics industry, and how to make better use of them for the benefit of its development.
From 600 to 10,000 employees
100 years ago the Liepaja Workshops were adopted with 600 employees. With the course of time, this number was increasing and changing, and now, thanks to the reorganization of the business model and increased efficiency, the Latvijas dzelzcejs Concern has a wide range of functions provided by about 10 thousand people, with the personnel being one of the biggest values of the company.
New trademark and large-scale future tasks
The Latvian Railway enters the year of its centenary with a new trademark and strategic positioning. The new trademark reflects the added value of the entire enterprise that is available today, and what is most important, it shows the message of the LDZ for the future: what will be the progress in the next five, ten, twenty and even thirty years. In the future, LDZ sees itself as a full- fledged, well-developed and managed group of transport, logistics and technological enterprises whose main activities - provision of competitive railway infrastructure - are complemented by multimodal international logistics services and digital value-added solutions for management services, train traffic management, logistics and other areas.
These development directions are summarized and symbolized by the new motto of LDZ “There is nothing far away!”