State-owned railway infrastructure company Estonian Railways, which operates under the Elron brand, must replace 328 wheelsets on its Stadler trains as the company initially ordered steel wheels unsuitable for the local climate.
"In the course of the three-year operation of the trains, it has become clear that the R8 steel wheels that are used in Europe are not suitable for our climate," it is written in Elron's annual report. As a result, the expected lifespan of the wheels decreases by a half.
The company has replaced eight percent of the wheelsets in question at a cost of €251,000. According to calculations made by BNS, it would cost the cmpany €3.1 million to replace all wheelsets.
According to Merle Raie, chief of communications at Elron, the discovery was an unexpected one. She told BNS that another reason for the wheels wearing down so fast is the fact that the mileage of the trains has been greater than expected, totaling up to 180,000 kilometers per year.
Raie stressed that the wheels wearing down faster than expected has not put passengers in danger.
Thus far, Elron has replaced 28 of its 365 wheelsets and is planning to replace another 30 wheelsets this year.
Editor: Aili Vahtla