Six new trains state-owned rail operator Elron ordered in a 2020 procurement worth €56 million are on schedule to be delivered by spring 2024.
Elron's new trains project manager Viljar Luhthein said that: "The new trains will start serving passengers at the end of 2024, when the new traffic schedule period begins. The interim time will be spent on testing and setup."
The dual-system electric locos are being made by Czech company Škoda (pictured), at a cost of €56.2 million, with an option to purchase 10 more units on the same terms.
Luthein said that the company is likely to take up this offer for the extra 10 locomotives, pending a government decision; in any case an additional 10 trains are to start service from 2026, once the Tallinn-Narva rail line is electrified.
Luhthein said the 83-meter-long integrated trains will have up to 236 passenger seats; Elron says that all-electric trains are more reliable and also cheaper per kilometer than the diesel-electric hybrids the company currently operates.
Passengers will also be able to book numbered seats online, while the carriages will carry a refreshments area, more cycle racks and more dispersed areas for passengers with strollers etc. - who hitherto have often had to board at one specific entrance.
Editor: Andrew Whyte