Elron fined close to €6,000 for 2019 delays and cancellations

Elroni Tartu - Valga train.
Elroni Tartu - Valga train. Source: Aili Vahtla/ ERR

Rail operator Elron has been fined close to €6,000 for delays and cancellations in 2019, Baltic News Service reports.

The penalty, which totals exactly €5,670, is due to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Eesti Liinirongid, branded for operations as Elron, must either cough up the sum or appeal it.

The fines conver three cancelled journeys and slightly over 60 delayed ones through the year, BNS reports.

Each delayed minute costs a little over €3-€6 depending on the length of the overall wait, as per a 2017 contract signed by Elron and the economic affairs ministry which also stipulates the latter can fine the former in the case of delays and cancellations.

The precise penalty period ran from December 2018 to November 2019, with the largest single fine amounting to over €1,000 or almost a fifth of the total, according to BNS. One month, April 2018, was completely delay/cancellation-free.

The worst offender in terms of routes was the high-densitt Tallinn-Pääsküla route (within Tallinn city limits-ed) with a total of seven delays.

The Tallinn-Tartu, Tartu-Tallinn, Tallinn-Rapla and Tallinn-Viljandi routes saw six delays of a minimum of 15 minutes each, over the same time-frame.

The longest delay, of two hours 18 minutes, was on the Tallinn-Rakvere line in November, due to a reported technical fault which required the use of another locomotive. Another delay of over two hours was on the Viljandi-Tallinn route in August, again due to technical faults, BNS reports.

In total, there were jus tover 40 delays of up to half an hour, and about half that which laste more than 30 minutes.

Over the 12 months, there were a total of 1,896 minutes of delay and three missed journeys, according to BNS.

How the fining system works

Delays are penalized by the minute, as noted. A cancelled train journey which does not see a replacement bus service in operation costs €300 to the carrier.

Fines kick in when a train is more than 15 minutes late, to a maximum of €100 if the delay is no more than half an hour.

In November of last year, a Tallinn-Tartu train was delayed 29 minutes due to a technical issue. As no fines are imposed for the first 15 minutes of delay, Elron was fined €93.38. In contrast, an October Tallinn-Viljandi train was delayed by exactly an hour, leading to a fine of €200.

Techinical issues related to the three cancellations included problems with automatic doors, and leaking radiators, it is reported.

Elron can appeal the decision in court, according to BNS.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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