The number of passengers carried by Estonian state-owned passenger train operator Eesti Liinirongid AS, which operates under the Elron brand, in the first six months of 2018 increased 8% on year to 3.8 million.
"We are moving robustly toward the goal of doubling the number of passengers set for 2020 when we purchased the new trains," Elron sales and marketing manager Ronnie Kongo said in a press release on Friday. "We are excited to see whether the same revolution can be repeated in terms of regional bus traffic as well."
The number of train journeys made in June increased 55% on year, totalling 638,000 passengers, but May saw a total of 724,000 train journeys registered.
"Even though rail traffic has increased significantly in recents year, the continued popularity of [Elron's trains] indicates that additional departures are needed on several routes," Kongo noted. "This in turn also means the need for more rolling stock. We are anticipating fast decisions in this regard."
The Elron routes with the largest numbers of passengers in the first six months of the year were Tallinn-Paldiski with 792,000 passengers, and Tallinn-Riisipere and Tallinn-Tartu with 519,000 passengers each.
Elron's ticket revenue in the first six months of 2018 totalled €7.7 million, up 215% on year.
Eesti Liinirongid AS operates diesel and electric trains on all domestic passenger rail routes in Estonia. In 2017, boardings totalled 7.3 million, and 99.16% of Elron-operated trains operated on schedule.
Editor: Aili Vahtla