State-owned passenger rail service provider Elektriraudtee, to be named Elron from October, today began recruiting 100 train drivers and other staff in anticipation of taking over long-distance train lines in January.
The move comes despite the current operator of the intercity lines, Edelaraudtee, taking Elron to court over the acquisition of the routes.
In a different court case, Edelaraudtee has also appealed the decision to hand the new Swiss-built trains to Elron without a public procurement. The state has said that, in the case of passenger rail services, an EU directive allows public service contracts to be awarded without a tender round.
Norbert Kaareste, head of sales and marketing at Elektriraudtee, said that they are expecting Edelaraudtee train drivers to apply.
The 50 new train drivers and 50 new service staff would bring the company's staff numbers to 265.