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Tallinn-Riga-Kiev passenger train route may be launched already at beginning of summer

BC, Tallinn, 08.02.2019.Print version
Representatives of state-owned Estonian railway infrastructure company Estonian Railways last week met with representatives of the Ukrainian counterpart company Ukrzaliznytsia, who affirmed their interest in opening the Tallinn-Riga-Kiev train route, and the route may be opened early in the summer, informed LETA/BNS.

"We met with the Ukrainian side last week. The Ukrainian side is prepared to extend the train route to Tallinn and we started identifying public interest in the project. If all parties believe that this justifies itself, the route could be launched already at the beginning of summer," Monika Lilles, head of communications at the Estonian Railways, told.

Estonian Railways is in communication with the local governments of South Estonia in order to discuss the existence of interest and the locations of possible stops and is also in talks with foreign parties for whom the extension of the train route could result in changes in train schedules.

"The negotiations would focus on the conditions on which the plan to extend the train line could materialize, we will put the common interests of the sides down on paper," Estonian Railways development manager Arthur Raichmann said at the end of January. "Our interest definitely isn't waning and we are planning to walk this path to the end, we will not leave it at that. Sometimes red tape just takes longer than planned."

Ukrzaliznytsia, or Ukrainian Railways, announced at the end of November that while the once-weekly Kiev-Riga line is working roughly at zero profit, given that they are currently in the off-season and the fact that the line was opened as lately as on Sept. 28, the start could be considered a success. 

Raichmann said that once the operation is extended to Tallinn, it may attract numerous new passengers who wish to move on from Tallinn to Scandinavia. The negotiations would be held on the technical, schedule-related and financial conditions on extending the train route.

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