Cargoes transported on the infrastructure of the state-owned Estonian railway infrastructure company Estonian Railways in the first six months of 2020 declined by 20.8% YoY, to 5.46 million tons.
The largest commodity group was fertilizer, which was transported in the total amount of 3.2 million tons, up by 7.6%.
Estonian Railways (Eesti Raudte) CEO Erik Laidvee said: “The reason for the decrease in shipments in the first half of this year is clearly related to the COVID-19 crisis, which left its mark on both transit and container shipments.”
He added a decrease in local oil shale transportation was also forecast and in the first half of the year no oil shale transportation took place on the infrastructure of Estonian Railways.
In addition to the increase in fertilizer transportation, the transportation of chemical goods on the infrastructure of Estonian Railways increased, the total volume of which was 730,000 tons, up by 12.4%. A total of 690,000 tons, down by 56.2%, of liquid oil products were transported and 360,000 tons, down by 4%, of mineral fuels.
Altogether 2.38 million passengers traveled on the infrastructure of Estonian Railways in the first half of the year, down by 32.2%.
“Tourism and passenger transport were hit very hard during the coronavirus crisis, which was clearly reflected in both domestic and international transport figures. Nevertheless, we expect some recovery in passenger traffic in the second half of the year, as Elron has already restored normal traffic on most routes,” Laidvee said.
This year, Estonian Railways will continue to invest in improving the traffic safety of the infrastructure and one of the company’s goals is to increase the speed on the Tapa-Tartu and Tapa-Narva routes to 135 kilometers per hour so that Elron’s trains can run from Tallinn to Tartu and Narva faster. (ERR/Business World Magazine)