Eesti Raudtee announces tender for rail network electrification ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Railway line in Tallinn (picture is illustrative).
Railway line in Tallinn (picture is illustrative). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

State-owned rail track operator Eesti Raudtee announced a tender on Wednesday for finding a provider and designer to electrify the entire rail network in Estonia. Work will start in 2022 and is a critical project for fulfilling the EU climate objectives.

Estonia has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030 in relation to EU's climate goals. According to the Ministry of the Environment, the best option to fulfill the objective is by investing into the transport sector and in last June, the government announced its plan to electrify the entire rail network in Estonia.

On Wednesday, Eesti Raudtee announced a tender for finding a provider and designer of the engineering service.

"We have introduced the plans of electrifying to many potential bidders across Europe and therefore are hoping for a highly competitive procedure," Head of Electrical Power Networks Department at Eesti Raudtee Andrus Alas told ERR's online news in Estonia.

"The preliminary draft starts with the Aegviidu-Tapa-Tartu sections, as we have together with Elron adopted a goal of being able to ride an electric train from Tallinn to Tartu by the end of 2024," Alas added.

At the beginning of the year, Elron announced the procurement of six electric trains which will start running on the Tallinn-Tartu route after the railway has been electrified.

The project is estimated to cost about €300 million. "It has to be taken into account that in addition to electrification, Eesti Raudtee has its annual renovation and renewal needs, which comes to an additional €400 million during the period" Chairman of the Riigikogu's economic affairs committee Sven Sester (Isamaa) noted after Eesti Raudtee announced its plans to electrify the entire rail network last November.

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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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