Cycles of Railway History in Latvia

The history and development of railway industry in Latvia has chiefly been defined by our country’s geographical location and the changing sociopolitical situation. World economy trends and technological achievements have been secondary. We tend to periodise history, or split it into periods. Railway history is no exception. The museum’s viewpoint of the industry’s development is represented in the book Dzelzceļi Latvijā (Railways in Latvia) published in 2009, which is so far the most thorough review of the history of railways in Latvia with a rich illustrative material.

Dzelzceļi Latvijā tells of the origins and development of railways in the territory of Latvia from 1860 until 1991. The book is chronologically structured to tell the story of the railway lines in the sequence of their construction. It is supplemented with short descriptions of each station and stop of the line, richly illustrated with photographs, maps and documents. Readers will find encyclopaedic data, line descriptions, construction motifs, public opinion and hopes for the opened lines and see station buildings that have disappeared or lost their splendour over the years. Authors of the book are employees of the Latvian Railway History Museum: Toms Altbergs, Karīna Augustāne and Ieva Pētersone; artist: Jānis Jaunarājs. Published by SIA Jumava in cooperation with Latvian Railways (VAS Latvijas dzelzceļš).

As a short preview of the history of railways, we offer the book’s introductory part Cycles of Railway History in Latvia. Reference with quotation is mandatory. To use the text in full, authors’ permission is required.

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