Estonia - General Information
National railway system
AS Eesti Raudtee (EVR) is the state-owned railway holding company.
National Railway Operator
AS Eesti Liinirongid (Elron) is the state owned national operator.
The state-owned Elektriraudtee was renamed Elron, which took over the assets and operations of the privately owned Edelaraudtee on 1 January 2014,
numeric 26; alpha EST
- Domestic journeys: Elron
- International journeys to Russia: There are no longer any international services to and from Russia
It is not known if Elron, which has replaced both Edelaraudtee and Elektriraudtee, publishes any printed timetable information. The compilers would be grateful for any information.
Peatus provides comprehensive timetable information for both trains and buses.
Lux Express operates coach routes in the Baltic region.
- European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball.
- European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - The Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine) by M.G. Ball.
- Mapa Kolejowa Litwy, Łotwy i Estonii (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) by W. Kolondra.
- Railway Map of Estonia by Quail Map Company.
- Thorsten Büker's Map of the Baltic States Last update was July 2023
There are no known "runabout"-type tickets, but fares are cheap.
A plastic smartcard and e-ticket system is now in use in Tallinn. Information on buying and using smartcards can be found on the Tallinn Tourism website.
AS EVR Infra is the infrastructure subsidiary of AS Eesti Raudtee.
"Russian" gauge (1520mm). The Tallinn tram system is 1067 mm gauge.
3 kV DC: Suburban routes around Talinn - Aegviidu/Paldiski/Klooga-Rand/Turba (132km).
In 2019 the government approved electrification of the network by 2028: east of Tallinn at 25 kV AC but retaining the existing 3 kV DC system west of Tallinn. It is planned to electrify Aegviidu – Tapa – Tartu by the end of 2024.
Rule of the road
Most lines are single track, but on double track sections right hand running applies.
Tables giving distances between stations can be found in Annex 4 of the Network Statement.
None. However, Russian Railways operated a daily Tallinn - St Peterburg - Moskva service until the start of the Covid pandemic.
Naissar Island: former military line (600 mm gauge)
Tallinn: Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS.
A Track plan for the Tallinn tram system is available on the Gleisplanweb site.
Recent and future changes
The first works on the 213km section of the standard gauge Rail Baltica line are due to commence in autumn 2023. It is planed to open in 2030.
The government has calculated that the European Commission proposal in July 2022 that new lines should be built to the standard gauge of 1435mm, and key routes of other gauges converted, would cost EUR 8.7 billion. They consider this should be deferred until Rail Baltica is completed.
The 6.5 km Riisipere - Turba section of the former Riisipere - Haapsalu line reopened on 8 December 2019. EUR 2m was provided in the 2020 budget for planning the reopening to Rohuküla (Haapsalu).
The 64 km Lelle - Pärnu line closed from 9 December 2018 as the government would no longer subsidise it. The formation might be used in the future by the Rail Baltica standard gauge line from Kaunas through Riga and Pärnu to Tallinn. The agreement on the Development of the line was ratified by the Estonian Parliament on 19 June 2017 but in 2021 the Estonian Supreme Court ordered the original plan be annulled. A new version is to be proposed by the end of 2021 but whether it will again use all of this routing is not yet confirmed. However, the acquisition of land is now five years behind schedule with planning for the project also delayed. Even the delayed completion date of 2030 suggested in October 2021 now seems doubtful.
The new Koidula station on the Russian border, serving the lines from both Tartu and Valga, opened to traffic on 23 May 2011. It replaced the former border facilities at Orava on the Tartu line and at Valga on the line from Riga LDZ. Opening of the new connection from the Orava line to Koidula resulted in the closure of part of the former line between Orava and Pechory-Pskovskie RZD. Tartu - Orava passenger services were extended to Koidula with effect from 1 September 2011 and further from Koidula to Piusa from 27 May 2012. In the most recent timetable, valid until 28 September 2017, trains still run between Koidula and Piusa. It had been hoped services between Valga and Piusa would be introduced in 2014 if funding could be obtained but this has not occurred and probably never will.
From 27 May 2012 GORail restarted its Tallinn - St. Peterburg service withdrawn in August(?) 2008. The entire GO Rail operation was withdrawn in May 2015 owing to a serious reduction in passenger numbers. The last trains departed from Tallinn to St. Peterburg on 10 May 2015 and to Moskva on 17 May, each returning a day later. However Russian Railways launched a daily Moskva – St Peterburg – Tallinn service on 10 July 2015.
Following the completion of engineering work, passenger services between Tartu and Valga restarted on 1 January 2010.
On 14 January 2009 AS Eesti Raudtee became a holding company with two wholly-owned subsidiaries - AS EVR Infra for infrastructure management and AS EVR Cargo for freight traffic.
Latvian railways (LDz) reinstated three cross-border passenger services from Valka/Lugaži to Valga on 25 April 2008.