International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics
Wednesday, 23.04.2014, 12:49
Tallinn-Riga train route is financially unsound
The said route would earn a loss of EUR 21.4 million in 15 years if the route would be operated three times a day during the years 2015-2030. At the current average bus ticket prices, the projected number of passengers would be 295,000 per year and travelling on the route would take approximately 4.5 hours. Such travel schedule would require trains only to stop at Tapa and in Tartu and it also presumes that Latvia would reconstruct the railroad between Riga and Valka so that the principal speed limit would be 120 kilometres per hour.
The analysis noted that the train route Tallinn-Tartu-Riga would be nearly 50 percent longer than the route taken by Tallinn-Riga buses that drive through Parnu. As there would be no gain in travel time in comparison with buses and cars, the potential number of passengers and also potentially earned ticket revenues would be lower.
Another aspect is the infrastructure usage fees on the Latvian railroad which would significantly increase expenses for the train.
The analysis recommended that the train traffic to Riga not be launched before Latvia makes real investments into the railroad stretch between Riga and Valka, in order to guarantee a competitive travel period.