Yesterday, on the afternoon of the 3rd of August the procurement contract was signed between Elektriraudtee Ltd and Stadler Bussnang AG for delivering 18 electric and 20 diesel powered Stadler FLIRT passenger trains to Estonia between the years 2013-2014.
Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Eero Pärgmäe stated that purchasing the new and modern trains when simultaneously investing into the infrastructure will create good opportunities to increase the passenger numbers and popularity of public transport. "Today the trains offer the quality and speed of a bus, but our goal for the future is to offer even faster and more convenient transportation means than a car," said Pärgmäe.
The total cost for the EMU trains is 79.5 million euro, of which 85% will be financed through European Union`s Cohesion Fund. According to the contract, Elektriraudtee Ltd will acquire six 4-wagon and twelve 3-wagon EMU trains.
New DMU trains will be leased from Stadler Bussnang AG, with payments per month being about 85000 euro for over a 20-year-long period. Elektriraudtee Ltd will lease all-together six 2-wagon, six 4-wagon and eight 3-wagon DMU trains from Stadler.
All of the depot-appliances and 5-year spare-parts for the trains will also be purchased with the procurement.
„The new rolling stock of Stadler FLIRT passenger trains will allow greater flexibility when planning new train schedules,” declared Elektriraudtee Ltd Chairman of the Management Board Kaida Kauler. According to her in the future the new trains might also cater routes that do not exist today. „Whether it might be a new route from Tapa to Narva or the long-awaited express-train between Tallinn and Riga,“ was Kauler hopeful regarding the future possibilities of traveling by train in Estonia.
The new trains will bring the European-level passenger comfort to Estonia – new Stadler FLIRT trains will have air-conditioning, entrances appropriate for handicapped people, Wi-Fi that covers the whole train and a place for ticket sales machines.
The first Stadler FLIRT will arrive to Estonia at the end of 2012. Three new EMU trains will start their test-drives on the Tallinn-Keila route and elsewhere in the beginning of 2013. In April 2013 the first two DMU trains will arrive to Estonia, with also a 6-month test-period ahead of them. As stated in the contract, all of the remaining EMU trains will be delivered to Estonia at the end of 2013 and all of the DMU trains in the summer of 2014.
Altogether a rolling stock of 38 new passenger trains will be the biggest one ever seen in independent Estonia. In the future this gives the ability to raise the intensity of the today`s train schedules and amount of lines opened for public transportation. The current rolling stock of Estonia’s passenger trains has been built in the 1970s with their lifespan soon ending.