Elron Pondering Fleet Expansion ({{commentsTotal}})

The increase in passenger numbers on domestic rail routes has forced state-owned operator Elron to look into purchasing more trains, having acquired the current rolling stock only last year.

Elron CEO Andrus Ossip told Postimees that the company is analyzing the situation and will map out needs by the end of the year, adding that when the contract to buy the current deal was signed in 2007 with financial restrictions.

“Passenger numbers have increased and we have become richer, and could take the next steps,” he said, adding that if not trains, then one possibility is to buy additional carriages at a cost of 1.2 million euros each, to make existent trains longer.

State subsidies make up the majority of the company's income and the funding for any new equipment will have to come from state coffers.

Passenger figures are up as much as 50 percent compared to last year, when intercity routes were operated by Edelaraudtee and its fleet of Soviet-era trains. Elron took over the lines on January 1, after lengthy court discussions, with its rolling stock of brand-new orange Stadler trains.