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Estonian Elron orders 10 more trains from the Škoda Group

Estonian Elron orders 10 more trains from the Škoda Group
photo: Wikipedia/Estonian Elron orders 10 more trains from the Škoda Group
25 / 01 / 2023

Estonian railway carrier Eesti Liinirongid (Elron) has decided to wield its option to deliver modern electric units and has ordered ten more trains from the Škoda Group. The first of the electric units from this order is already in production, and the fleet now numbers 16 vehicles. Production is taking place at the Škoda Group's production plant in Ostrava. The modern trains will, among other things, serve the newly electrified railway section between Tallinn and Tartu, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The contract with Elron is worth over CZK 3.5 billion (almost EUR 147 million). In the short term, this is yet another customer with whom the Škoda Group has entered into a contract for the additional vehicle purchase

The Škoda Group's Ostrava plant, thanks to its years of experience in train production, can meet the very specific requirements of this Baltic country without any problems. In addition to the wider track gauge, the trains are designed as dual-system trains for 3 kV and 25 kV 50Hz power systems, so that they can serve both newly electrified railway sections and sections with older overhead lines. In addition, Estonia is located in a colder climate than is typical in other parts of Europe. Trains must therefore be able to withstand more challenging temperature conditions, especially in winter.

"Our single-deck electric units are proving very well in regional transport in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where they are very popular and achieve the highest standards for modern and safe transport. The first units have already been delivered to Latvia, which has similar characteristics to Estonia. This experience has enabled us to offer Elron a unique tailor-made solution. The client's trust in our products is the greatest reward for us, so we are glad that the customer decided to use the entire order and modern Škoda trains will be running in Estonia for decades to come," says Zdeněk Sváta, President of Region Central East at Škoda Group.

"Elron served a total of 7.1 million passengers in 2022. Demand for new trains is high, which is why, last summer, the Estonian government approved an order for the purchase of ten more trains. With this decision, Elron's train fleet will be significantly expanded by more than 40%, which will allow us to significantly improve passenger services and strengthen service and schedules," announced Lauri Betlem, Chairman of Elron's Board of Directors.

Broad gauge electric units for Estonia

"The new trains place great emphasis on passenger comfort. They have a low-floor entrance and space for two wheelchairs and four baby carriages. Some of the seats are removable so that the train can be adapted to the current situation – in summer, there will be more space for bicycles, and in winter, there will be more space for passengers. Of course, there is air conditioning, a modern information system, WIFI, 230 V and USB sockets," says Ivo Gurňák, Sales Area Director Mainline at Škoda Group.

The train is based on the RegioPanter platform (trains in the Czech Republic and Slovakia), which was also used in the design of trains to neighbouring Latvia. The model for Estonia would be the most comparable, but even so, the trains are different, depending on customer specifications. Estonian trains have first class, and some trains have a catering compartment etc.

Production has started

In December, the preparation of the production of the rough structures for the first train has already started. It is already in the initial welding phase and should be ready for assembly in a few weeks. During 2023, the first unit will be brought to life, and the first tests will also take place. The Škoda Group plans to transport the second unit directly to Tallinn afterwards, where a parallel revival will begin. The unit will be transported by truck to Riga, Latvia, and by rail to Estonia. Delivery of the first six trains is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024.

Source: Škoda Group