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European Investment Bank to lend Estonian Railways EUR 95 mln

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a 95 million euro, 25-year tenor, loan agreement with the Estonian national railway company Estonian Railways, informs LETA/BNS. 

The Estonian Railways will use the funds to modernize tracks and the control-command and signalling systems on most of the Estonian network, as well as carry out the digitalization of the train management systems. All interventions are located on the TEN-T, including on the North Sea - Baltic Corridor

"In the modal shift away from carbon-based transport, there is a big incentive to offer the best possible conditions to travelers, showing them that there are alternatives to taking the car. The modernization will not only allow higher speeds on the tracks, but is also expected to improve safety by installing new signalling systems. With the EIB at the heart of financing the transition towards a carbon-neutral Europe, this is a scheme that we are happy to get behind," EIB Vice President Thomas Ostros said in a press release.

"Our goal is to ensure railways are an attractive and well-established mobility choice for the future, which is why the European Commission proposed 2021 to be the European Year of Rail. The upgrade to the Estonian railway network signed today, as well as realizing the Rail Baltic, will deliver travelers a modern, safe and green alternative to the car. Estonian Railways plays an important part here and continues to be a close and much appreciated partner for the European Commission," Director-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission Henrik Hololei added.

"Our aim is to develop the most convenient, environmentally friendly and safe mode of transport in Estonia. We have set in motion a very ambitious investment plan until 2030 that will take our railway infrastructure to a new quality and safety level and the loan from European Investment Bank is definitely a big part of realizing it," Erik Laidvee, CEO of Estonian Railways, said.

The project follows earlier EIB-investments in the Estonian rail sector, including for new rolling stock, which took to the tracks in 2014.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's nonprofit long-term lending institution. As a "policy-driven bank" whose shareholders are the member states of the EU, the EIB uses its financing operations to bring about European integration and social cohesion. Over the last five years, the EIB has financed Estonian technology, infrastructure and transport sector projects in the extent of over 835 million euros.

(Source: http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=156323)


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