Loss of Train Reducing Capacity for Elron Routes

New commuter trains set to arrive in 2013 Photo: Courtesy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication
4/23/2014 1:58 PM
Category: Society

Last week's train accident that took the lives of two people near Rassiku is placing some pressure on Elron's service of its routes, the company said.

Passengers may not be able to buy tickets at the train, as the more limited number of cars recently stranded some last-minute would-be riders on one line.

 "The accident last week that caused the death of two people took a four-carriage train away from Elron for a while, which could lead to trains being full on some more popular routes," said Elron CEO Andrus Ossip. "We apologize for any inconvenience."

Two people died after an Elron passenger train heading from Tallinn to Tartu collided with a truck at a crossing near Rassiku last Wednesday. One of the fatalities was a passenger on the train, the other in the truck.

Twelve people were injured among the estimated 100 passengers riding on the train when the accident occurred. The collision took place at 15:19 on the 14:55 line to Tartu.

"The police investigation is still ongoing, and we will have to wait for the final report," said Norbert Kaareste, Elron’s marketing manager. "However it is known that the train conductor acted properly, and the lorry driver ignored or didn't see the red light."

Kaareste said that mechanical failure, and drugs and alcohol have been ruled out as factors.

According to Elron, travelers will have to understand that they may not get the specific train that they want to board, especially now that the damaged train is out of service. The company is reshuffling its remaining trains and carriages, most of which are smaller than the one lost.

Kaareste said whether the damaged train is repaired or replaced will be up to the involved insurance companies, and there is no timetable for when that determination will be made. A new train would cost 6 million euros.

Elron sent a three-carriage train to Viljandi last weekend, and according to Elron, some people were not able to board at the Lelle train station between Rapla and Viljandi and had to wait for another connection. Under normal circumstances, the company said, that size of train would have been sufficient for that line.

"We just don't have the needed capacity on certain lines at present," Kaareste said. "Especially on long holiday weekends. And it is influencing our departure times a little."

Train attendants are trained in a series of protocols to determine how many passengers can be safely allowed into the carriages.

On Monday, another train accident occurred with the Tallinn-St. Petersburg line, when a woman in a Zhiguli car was struck by a GoRail train near the Stantsiya Vruda rail station in the Leningrad oblast at another unguarded crossing. The accident happened at 18:20 Estonian time, and the woman died at the scene. The train was able to eventually continue to Tallinn.


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