Transit Is Subsidizing Passenger Rail Travel, Says Head of Estonian Railways ({{commentsTotal}})

Ahti Asmann, the head of the board at the state-owned Estonian Railways, said high transit volumes have subsidized passenger rail travel. But as transit volumes are decreasing, tickets could become more expensive.

Speaking on ERR radio Tuesday, Asmann said cargo volumes dropped 17 percent last year, mainly due to Russia developing its own port capacity, and the Ukraine crisis is also beginning to have an effect.

A railway network just for cargo would need far fewer investments, as is in the case in the US, Asmann said, but Estonia has chosen a more balanced path, investing in renovating tracks to accommodate faster passenger trains.

Asmann said that would require around 23 million euros annually in additional investments, adding either the state or passengers will have to cover those expenses.