The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €95m loan agreement with the Estonian national railway company Eesti Raudtee for the modernisation of the railway network.
The funding will be used by Eesti Raudtee to modernise tracks and the control-command and signalling systems on most of the Estonian network, as well as implement digitalisation of the train management systems.
The interventions are located on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), including on the North Sea-Baltic Corridor.
Eesti Raudtee Erik Laidvee CEO said: “Our aim is to develop the most convenient, environmental friendly and safe mode of transport in Estonia.
“We have set in motion a very ambitious investment plan until 2030 that will take our railway infrastructure to a new quality and safety level and the loan from European Investment Bank is definitely a big part of realizing it.”
EIB vice-president Thomas Östros commented: “The modernisation will not only allow higher speeds on the tracks, but is also expected to improve safety by installing new signalling systems.”
Work involves the refurbishment of parts of the Tallinn-Tartu line, including the construction of a new bridge on the Emajõgi River, and improving safety measures (including barriers) for level crossings and track refurbishment.
European Commission mobility and transport director-general Henrik Hololei said: “The upgrade to the Estonian railway network signed today, as well as realising the Rail Baltica, will deliver travellers a modern, safe and green alternative to the car.
“Estonian Railways plays an important part here and continues to be a close and much-appreciated partner for the European Commission.”
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