State rail company plans full electrification by 2028

Erik Laidvee, head of state railtrack company Eesti Raudtee.
Erik Laidvee, head of state railtrack company Eesti Raudtee. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

State-owned rail track operator Eesti Raudtee has announced plans to electrify the entire rail network in Estonia, by 2028.

Estonia's rail network currently runs a combination of electric and diesel trains for both passengers and freight.

"We currently have an electrified section between Tallinn and Aegviidu. Further electrification is needed to reach Tartu and other regional stations," head of Eesti Raudtee Erik Laidvee, said, as reported on ETV current affairs show Aktuaalne kaamera Monday evening.

Work should start in 2022 and the plan involves electrifying the Tallinn-Tartu stretch, which should be complete by 2024, Laidvee said.

Electrifying the entire 800-km network, including the close to 200 km on which Elron commuter trains to and from Tallinn, will be complete by 2028, Laidvee said.

Chairman of the Riigikogu's economic affairs committee Sven Sester (Isamaa) said that the bulk of the costs, not only of electrification, which is project to cost about €300 million, but also for ongoing renovation and upkeep work.

"It has to be taken into account that in addition to electrification, Eesti Raudtee has its annual renovation and renewal needs, which comes to an additional €400 million during the period" Sester noted.

Electrifying the entire rail network should make operating costs savings of about one third, and make CO2 emissions savings of about 10 percent of total emissions by road traffic, Eesti Raudtee says.

The original Aktuaalne kaamera segment is here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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