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H1 freight volume of Estonian Railways up 13% on year

Freight volumes on the infrastructure of the state-owned Estonian railway infrastructure company Estonian Railways rose 19.6% on year to 1.1 mln tons in June, while the freight volume of the first six months of 2018 rose 13% to 7.1 mln tons.

Fertilizers, mineral fuels and oil shale was carried on the infrastructure of Estonian Railways the most, the company said. Transit carriage made up two thirds or 4.8 mln tons of the total carriage that took place on the infrastructure of Estonian Railwaysin the first six months of the year, which is 24% more than in the same period in 2017.

"The accelerating growth tempo of cargo volumes is pleasing. As the first half-year has passed, we can bravely forecast approximately 14 mln tons as the year's freight volume on our infrastructure," Erik Laidvee, CEO of Estonian Railways, said in a press release.

"Provided that the local cargo carriage, which saw a minus of 8% in the first half of the year, can compensate for the underperformance of its freight volumes thanks to the launch of new coal stock and timber transport projects in the second half of the year. In addition, two East-West direction Chinese container trains will arrive on our infrastructure in August, which will increase the approximately 50% growth in the container carriage of the half-year even further," he said.

"I am also extremely glad to note that after a procurement dispute that lasted nine months, we can start modernizing our traffic control systems. Thanks to modern control systems, it will no longer happen that railway traffic will be paralyzed across the entire country due to damage done to one control center -- as it happened in the case of the fire at the Tartu control center," Laidvee said.

The number of passengers on the infrastructure of the Estonian Railways also showed a continued growth trend. Altogether 3.86 mln passengers used the train in local connections, which is 7.9% more than in the first six months of the previous year. The number of those who used international passenger trains in the first six months rose approximately 7%.

(Source: http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=141476)


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