Estonia's state-owned passenger train operator AS Eesti Liinirongid, better-known as Elron, saw its sales revenue for the third quarter of 2021 (Q3 2021) grow 6 percent on year to €4.3 million, while its quarterly net loss contracted by 4.2 percent to €1.2 million over the same period.
The company's other operating income increased by 15.5 percent to almost €7.7 million. The operating loss decreased by 1.4 percent to €169,500, according to Elron's interim report for the third quarter.
The operating costs of Elron are covered by a subsidy from the state budget and ticket revenue. In the third quarter, the subsidy for passenger services totaled €6.27 million and the subsidy for the acquisition of new rolling stock was €1.37 million. A year earlier, the figures were 5.21 million and €1.42 million, respectively.
In the third quarter, a total of almost €1.8 million boardings were recorded, 5 percent more than a year earlier. Ticket revenue for the third quarter increased by 6 percent on year to nearly €4.3 million.
The management board observed that the impact of COVID-19 was increasingly evident in the early autumn, as infection rates remained significantly higher than in 2020. Elron expects demand to continue to decline in the final quarter of the year. Passenger numbers will be impacted by the continued protraction of the period of railway repairs, which is having a significant disruptive effect on passenger services.
Besides, fears have materialized that the fight against the virus and vaccination is not keeping up the necessary pace, leading to the introduction of restrictions, which will also significantly reduce demand.
In the third quarter of 2021, 977,200 rail kilometers were served by diesel trains and 496,500 rail kilometers by electric locos.
The reliability rate of electric trains in the third quarter of the year was 99.97 percent, which slightly exceeded the set target. However, the reliability rate of diesel trains was 99.34 percent.
The dependability targets for diesel trains were not met due to diesel engines and the trains' hydraulic systems overheating in hot weather. In order to solve the problem of overheating in diesel engines, in August and September, additional diesel unit ventilation equipment was installed on all trains to improve the air exchange in diesel units.
Elron's fleet consists of 38 trains and the total length of the network is 723 km, of which 132 km are electrified.
Editor: Roberta Vaino