State-owned Eesti Raudtee (Estonian Railways) report an increase in its 2018 freight volumes of 9% compared to the previous year. The total cargo moved by the company amounted to 13.5 million tons, the main items carried being fertilizers, mineral fuels and oil shale.
Transit shipments made up 9.1 million tons of all cargo transported on Eesti Raudtee's network, which is over 20% more than in 2017. The amount of freight containers handled by the company also increased, with a total of more than 52,400 units moved.
The container freight volume has increased even more than that of other cargo, namely by a staggering 55%, making 2018 a very successful year.
"We managed to find a good balance between investment, expenses and income, and we were able to turn the decline in cargo volumes that had previously been going on for several years into an increase," Eesti Raudee's CEO, Erik Laidvee, said.
"The stable growth in the number of train passengers is also positive, one of the driving forces of which is a well-maintained infrastructure as well as increasing speed," Mr Laidvee added. Other advances were made in 2018 in the areas of safety and signalling as well.
Some 7.7 million people used the train as their local means of transport, which is nearly 5% more than in the previous year. Another 107,100 people, some 2% more than last year, used the train for international travel.
As Mr Laidvee points out, cooperation with Russia's state railways has also been successful, with the highest number of extra trains on the Tallinn-St Petersburg-Moscow route bringing in Russian tourists leading up to the new year.
Editor: Dario Cavegn