Estonian railways orders ten more electric units from Skoda
Skoda will deliver sixteen new three-car units to Estonia.
Less than two years after signing a contract with Estonian state carrier Elron, Škoda Transportation has received another order for new electric trains.
Elron has announced that it will exercise the option and order ten more units in addition to the six three-car ones. The government already approved the transaction; the purchase should be EU-subsidized. All sixteen three-car units are to be delivered by 2027. Production of the first series is underway and is due by 2024.
There is a great need for new trains in Estonia, said Elron chairman Lauri Betlem, which is why the carrier decided on the purchase. Today, Elron uses 100% renewable electricity and aims to reduce the share of fossil diesel in energy consumption to a minimum by 2030. According to Betlem, passenger numbers on the railway are steadily increasing, and the company has to plan 10–15 years ahead.
The carrier did not disclose the contract value, with the first contract for six units costing EUR 56.2 million. Unless the price has risen substantially, the new trains should cost another EUR 93 million. In the 2020 tender, Skoda beat Stadler; its Flirt units were successful in Estonia in the past.
The 85-meter-long dual-system units will run on the line from Tallinn to Tartu. According to Elron, the electric units will have removable seats to allow for more bicycles during the summer. A space for eating and drinking will also be available.
Elron evaluated eleven criteria in the tender, such as energy costs, maintenance, or acceleration. The carrier stated that Skoda’s bid was the best regarding price and operating costs.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková.