Bus Company to Join Competitors for St. Petersburg Train Service
Lux Express, an intercity bus operator in the Baltic region, plans to take a piece of the railway business by launching a Tallinn-St. Petersburg train route.
The company - which said its buses can no longer satisfy demand for the Tallinn-St. Petersburg route - plans to acquire two 10-million-euro Stadler trains, reported Postimees.
In the rush to the east, Lux Express will be joining two competing companies - GoRail and Skinest - which both announced plans last month to fill the present passenger train void between Tallinn and St. Petersburg this spring.
Passengers haven't had a rail connection between Tallinn and St. Petersburg since 2008, when Go Rail shut down its service. The company blamed rising railroad fees, due to a three-fold decline in cargo transit, after which train fares were no longer competitive with buses. Having operated for only 15 months, Go Rail had served 48,181 passengers on the route.
Tallinn is one of the closest international destinations to St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city. Estonia's popularity as a destination for Russian tourists is growing. The recent holiday season attests to that, as the number of incoming Russian tourists hit an all-time record of around 20,000.