Elron September passenger numbers reach record high ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Elron trains at Tartu Railway Station.
Elron trains at Tartu Railway Station. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

Trains belonging to Estonian state-owned passenger train operator Eesti Liinirongid (Elron) registered over 728,000 boardings in September, marking a new all-time record number of passengers.

The total number of passengers increased 9 percent on year, Elron said on Friday.

Total boardings in the first nine months of 2019, meanwhile, totaled 6.2 million, up 7 percent on year.

According to Ronnie Kongo, sales and development manager at Elron, the company is trying to meet growing demand by operating longer trains on its busies departures, as well as adding additional departures to the schedule in December.

"We will modify schedules somewhat to use existing trains even more effectively," Kongo said. "As a result, we can add one more express train to the Tallinn-Narva route, for example, with a travel time of about two hours and 15 minutes."

Additional departures will also be added on other routes as well.

According to Kongo, statistics for recent years show that only trains are able to offer a substantial alternative to the use of cars and the negative impacts the latter entails. Prior to the arrival of new trains, the goal was set to double the number of boardings by 2020.

"Today we can say that we are very rapidly approaching that goal," he said. "Now is the right time to set targets for the next ten years, when mobility and its sustainability will become ever more important for society. Doubling the number of train boardings would make a very significant contribution to achieving Estonia's climate targets and improving people's mobility options."

In order to do so, Kongo noted, investment decisions must be made when it comes to rolling stock and infrastructure alike in order to increase speeds and throughput capacity.

Eesti Liinirongid AS operates diesel and electric trains on all domestic passenger rail routes in Estonia. In 2018, the company saw a total of 7.6 boardings, up 4 percent on year, while ticket revenue increased 21 percent to €16 million.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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