State company Estonian Railways (Eesti Raudtee) has said it hopes to electrify the track between Tallinn and St Petersburg in the future in a joint project between Russia and Estonia. The plans would cost approximately €15 million to carry out.
Under Estonia's current plans electrification of the railway track to Narva will be completed in five years time but continuing into Russia will not be possible unless a 35 km section of the track between the Estonian border and the Russian town of Kingisepp is converted.
Estonia would work with Russian Railway's subsidiary October Railway if the future plans are agreed and funding could come from the EU's Estonian-Russian cross-border cooperation program.
"If it could be electrified, in the future it would be possible to transport passengers and goods by electric train from Tallinn and St. Petersburg instead of diesel trains," said Andrus Alas, the head of the Estonian Railway Electricity Networks Board.
Giving additional reasons for electrification, he said the current diesel trains create a lot of environmental pollution whereas electric trains are quieter, quicker and maintenance is cheaper.
Russia's interest in the project will become clear after negotiations which will take place after Estonia approves the idea in principle.
Editor: Helen Wright