Eesti Raudtee reports 19 percent drop in freight on year, January-July

Operail freight trains.
Operail freight trains. Source: Matthias Rikka/Operail

State-owned railtrack company Eesti Raudtee saw a 19 percent drop in freight carriage on year to the period January-July 2020, the company reports, to 6.4 million tons.

The main factors behind the drop are the absence of oil shale transport on Eesti Raudtee lines this year - last year this totalled around 800,000 tons - and the coroanvirus pandemic.

Of those goods which did get carried by rail, fertilizers, mineral fuels and chemical goods were the most significant in the first seven months of this year, Eesti Raudtee said.

Eesti Raudtee CEO Erik Laidvee noted: "The first seven months of this year have been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, which has left its mark on both freight and passenger transport. In August, however, we are already sensing a certain increase in numbers and we hope that the second half of the year will be more favorable for both freight carriers and the passenger transport company."

Transit made up the bulk of cargo transported on Eesti Raudtee lines at around 5 million tons, though this itself represented a 10 percent fall on the previous year.

Container transport also fell by 38 percent, between January-July 2019 and January-July 2020, and passenger numbers fell 31 percent to 3.3 million for the whole seven months, and a littler over half a million for July alone.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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