Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Centre) has promised Elron that the decision to procure new passenger trains will be made as the next state budget is drawn up.
While Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) has promised that at least three new trains will be purchased for passenger rail operator Elron, Ms Simson hasn't spoken about the issue in such definitive terms.
Earlier this week, Ms Simson met with Elron CEO Merike Saks, who told ERR that year after year, the company's passenger numbers have demonstrated a strong growth trend, due to which the need remains for the purchase of additional trains.
"The subject of the need for new trains came up during my discussion with the minister," Ms Saks said regarding this week's meeting. "We recognised that the decision to purchase new trains can be made in the process of drawing up the 2020 state budget. When the new trains would enter into service and how much they will cost will depend on financial opportunities as well as the result of a procurement."
Speaking on ETV's Esimene stuudio on Wednesday, Ms Simson stressed that investments into existing railway infrastructure, speed increases on the Tallinn-Tartu route as well as new trains cannot be forgotten in the shadow of Rail Baltica.
The Centre Party's election programme includes a promise to increase Elron's rolling stock to meet increasing needs on its Tallinn-Tartu, Tallinn-Viljandi and Tallinn-Narva routes.
Elron, however, will have to wait until the 3 March Riigikogu elections and the formation of the next coalition government, which will likely pick up the matter in the course of drawing up the 2020 state budget.
Editor: Aili Vahtla