Privately-owned Estonian train operator Edelaraudtee wants to begin operating the Tallinn-Tartu rail route with trains previously used on the Tallinn-St. Petersburg line.
Edelaraudtee estimates their endowment expenses to be approximately half of those of Eesti Liinirongid AS, the state-owned operator of passenger trains that conducts its business under the Elron brand.
"The Tallinn-Tartu route needs more trains, while Elron has said that there are none and will not be any," Tartu mayor Urmas Klaas told BNS.
"The message with which Edelaraudtee approached us is that they are able to put additional renovated trains to use on the Tallinn-Tartu route which would seat more than 500 passengers, if necessary," he continued, noting that their trains include a first class and a dining car, the latter of which is not offered on Elron trains but for which there is passenger demand.
Alar Pinsel, a member of the management board of Edelaraudtee, said that according to the initial plan, the Tallinn-Tartu route would be operated by trains which were previously used on the Tallinn-St. Petersburg route. "We are ready to make an offer; we have the trains," he said.
"These are the same trains which previously traveled to St. Petersburg, and with six cars, they seat up to 584 passengers," Pinsel noted, adding that the maintenance cost of these trains may be approximately half of that of Elron's Stadler FLIRT electric and diesel trains. "We must draw up traffic schedules and maintenance based on those schedules, but I believe that it might be approximately half of that sum."
"If the trains are suitable, the next step is to hold negotiations with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications regarding endowment, while another aspect is the schedule, which must be discussed with Estonian Railways," Klaas said.
Editor: Aili Vahtla