Latvijas Dzelzceļš (Latvian Railway) company has launched the online ticket purchase system for international train routes.
The system is similar to airline tickets booking, and the passenger can book the ticket at the Latvian Railway site, choosing the route, date, carriage and seat and paying with a bank card. Unlike airline tickets, the railway tickets can be returned even three hours before the departure - although in this case only half of price is refunded. However, the passenger will still need to visit cashbox office and retrieve the conventional ticket with hologram. This is as temporary issue, and the Latvian Railway promises in time it will be lifted - then the passengers will be able to board the train with a simple ticket print-out. For it to happen, the company needs to sign a special deal with Russian railway company, as the international regulations require for the passengers to have conventional tickets when boarding. Also currently the conventional ticket can be received only in the territory of Latvia. So far only Riga-Moscow and Riga-St. Petersburg routes are served, but the Latvian Railway hopes to add the Minsk, Tallinn and Vilnius routes soon.