Clients and partners Development and investments

Development and investments

 

In the past decade, 320 of Eesti Raudtee’s 1225 kilometres of railways have undergone major repairs. All of the passenger waiting platforms have been refurbished, and tracks, overhead contact lines and the automated equipment of level crossings have been repaired thoroughly.

Over the next few years, railway repairs on two lines – south- and westbound – will play an important role in ensuring the safety and quality of traffic. Railways are being reconstructed on the Tapa-Tartu line, with Stage II major repairs beginning on the Tallinn-Keila-Paldiski and Keila-Riisipere lines.

The investment priority for either project is to connect environmentally friendly, low-noise and low-carbon transport systems (including inland waterways, maritime transport, ports and various other transport modes), and to develop and improve airport infrastructure in order to promote sustainable regional and local mobility. The objective of the projects is sustainable transport, including rail transport in the TEN-T network.

The southbound Tapa-Tartu line is important in terms of passenger transport between Estonia’s two largest cities and for freight transport to and from Russia and Latvia to be able function via the Koidula frontier station. Repairs on the Tapa-Tartu line began in 2015 and will continue through 2017.

Repairs on the railway segment from Tallinn to Tapa ended in 2012, completing a major project that had taken four years and seen a total of 112.8 kilometres reconstructed. The bulk of the work consisted in major railway repairs on main open track (60.5 kilometres) and on station gridiron at stations (20.2 kilometres). In addition, track bed was cleaned, with sleepers and 114 turnouts replaced.

To ensure the seamless operation of Eesti Raudtee’s telecommunications, the fibre-optic cable runs will be backed up on the Tapa-Tartu line in 2016. In 2017, fibre-optic cable runs will be backed up on the eastbound Tapa-Narva line.

The westbound electrified Tallinn-Keila-Paldiski and Keila-Riisipere lines with busy passenger train traffic also support freight transport to Paldiski Harbour. Stage II major repairs on this line will begin this year and end in late 2018. Stage I major repairs on the same line were carried out from 2011 to 2013.

From 2016 to 2019, the replacement of electricity centralisations on the Tallinn-Keila, Keila-Paldiski and Keila-Riisipere will begin as well. As a result of the implementation of the project, trips will begin to be set automatically and the existing Tallinn-Tapa CTC will be merged with the new traffic control system to ensure the smoothest possible organisation of train traffic in the immediate vicinity of Tallinn.

In 2015 a total of 13.1 million euros was invested in Estonian Railways. In 2016 39.6 million euros will be invested.

 

Repairs on the southbound line: Tapa-Tartu line

The Tapa-Tartu segment is part of the Tallinn-Tapa-Tartu-Koidula railway, which is part of the TEN-T core network, supporting passenger transport from Tallinn to Tartu and freight transport from Tallinn to Russia. In addition, the overall TEN-T network includes the Tartu-Valga segment, which supports passenger and freight transport from Tallinn to Valga. Segments undergoing repairs lie along the 112.5 kilometre stretch between Tapa and Tartu, of which slightly more than a half is being repaired.

The reconstruction of the Tapa-Tartu railway aims to ensure traffic safety and the continuity of operation, reduce the number of speed limits and allow travel speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour for passenger trains and up to 80 kilometres per hour for freight trains.

The project has a total scope of 57 kilometres of major repairs on open track and main station gridiron. The nature of the work is major repairs, including the replacement of the entire railway superstructure (track bed, rails and sleepers), an expansion of the track formation and an increase in load-bearing capacity, if necessary, as well as repairs on level crossings, with drainage facilities constructed or cleaned. Superstructure repairs will employ crushed granite, reinforced concrete sleepers with flexibly mounted, type 60E1 jointless track. Jointless track is welded together, resulting in a railway with low noise and vibration levels, on which design travel speed of up to 120 per hour will be restored.

2015 saw the completion of 12 kilometres of the segment under repairs, with 35 and 10 kilometres of railways to be upgraded in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

In order to improve traffic safety and gradually increase the travel speeds of passenger trains in the future, furthermore all the automated signalling systems at level crossings on the Tapa-Tartu segment will be modernised. Broken or railway traffic lights are being replaced.

In 2015 and 2016, automated signalling at level crossings on the Tapa-Tartu line will be modernised. As part of the project, the existing signalling at level crossings will be supplemented with barriers to ensure the highest possible level of safety when railways are crossed.

In total, 16 level crossings are being upgraded. Once the automated signalling at level crossings has been supplemented with barriers, the speed limit on the above line may be increased to 135 kilometres per hour.

 

Repairs on the westbound line: Tallinn-Keila-Paldiski line

The Tallinn-Keila-Paldiski railway supports passenger and freight transport, whereas the Keila-Riisipere railway mostly supports westbound passenger transport from and to Tallinn in Harju County. Electrified rail track extends from Tallinn west to Keila, where it splits into two branches, of which one runs to Paldiski, where the harbour handles freight transport, and the other to Riisipere. The line to Paldiski, in turn, splits at Klooga, from where travel is possible to Kloogaranna.

The length of the railway segment covered by the project is 89 kilometres and is part of the electrified railway linking the cities of Keila and Paldiski the settlement of Riisipere to the capital. Today, the project railway segment is mainly used for passenger train traffic: more than 96% of the train kilometres travelled on this railway segment are travelled by passenger trains.

The project aims to ensure traffic safety and the continuity of operation on the Tallinn-Keila-Paldiski and Keila-Riisipere railway segments, reduce the number of speed limits and resume the works from Stage I, carried out in 2012 in 2013. The major repairs on the Tallinn-Keila-Paldiski and Keila-Riisipere lines during Stage I included repairs of six stretches of open track, totalling 47 kilometres. Repairs were undertaken on the open track in the worst condition on this line. In addition, pavement was replaced on nine level crossings. Neither repairs on station gridiron (including main station gridiron) and some open track nor replacements of main track turnouts were done.

Major repairs are scheduled to occur at stations on the Tallinn-Keila-Paldiski and Keila-Riisipere lines, with the length of the segments not reconstructed during Stage I totalling approximately 42 kilometres. The nature of the work is major repairs, including the replacement of the entire railway superstructure (track bed, rails and sleepers), an expansion of the track formation and an increase in its load-bearing capacity, if necessary, as well as repairs on level crossings, with drainage facilities constructed or cleaned. All main track turnouts are being replaced. Superstructure repairs will employ crushed granite, reinforced concrete sleepers with flexibly mounted, type 60E1 jointless track. Jointless track is welded together, resulting in a railway with low noise and vibration levels.

Works are scheduled to begin the second half of 2016.

 

Overhead contact lines

The beginning of this year saw the completion of a major project of four years to upgrade overhead contact lines on the Tallinn-Paldiski and Keila-Vasalemma lines, “Reconstruction of the overhead contact lines of electrified railway lines”, co-financed by the European Union Cohesion Fund.

The reconstruction of overhead contact lines aimed to assure quality conditions for the provision of passenger train services using the new Stadler Flirt trains (the entire fleet of passenger trains was replaced in the summer of 2013) and the conformity of the railway overhead contact lines for operating the new trains in accordance with the applicable technical requirements. In addition to the above, conditions were created for an increase in passenger traffic intensity and speeds in the future.

The project was divided into three parts:

1. Reconstruction of overhead contact lines,

2. Reconstruction of freight substations at Järve and Keila,

3. Purchase of a maintenance vehicle for overhead contact lines.

Major repairs were undertaken including replacement of reinforced concrete supports, all the elements of overhead contact lines, including load-bearing supports and structures, cables and wires, insulators and other line equipment. A total of 84 kilometres of electrified railways, or 38% of the total length of electrified railways in Estonia. Overhead contact lines were reconstructed for speeds allowing passenger trains to travel potentially at up 160 kilometres per hour on main track. Solutions were used to reduce the costs and time required by the maintenance and repairs of overhead contact lines going forward.

The traction substations at Järve and Keila feeding overhead contact lines were built over 50 years ago. Due to the ageing and degradation of equipment, it was difficult to provide the overhead contact lines and railway with a stead power supply. The works undertaken will result in fully upgraded traction substations at Keila and Järve that conform to all the applicable requirements.

As part of the renovation of traction substations, all equipment were replaced and installed inside new purpose-built structures. One of the aims of the reconstruction was to improve voltage quality in overhead contact lines in conjunction with the launch of new, more powerful electric trains.

The works included the construction of new buildings, the installation of new switchgear, connected to the existing lines, and the disassembly of old switchgear. Switchgears – 35, 10 and 3 kilovolts – were built at the new, more reliable and more compact traction substation. In a major change, 35 kilovolt outdoor switchgear was replaced with indoor switchgear inside the new substation building, and rectified current sources were transferred to a 12-pulse system to increase electricity quality in overhead contact lines, and the utilisation of elegas (SF6) to enable the employment of compact switchgear of reduced dimensions.

To ensure the sustainability of the results of the project, a maintenance vehicle was purchased to conduct checks and maintenance and repairs on overhead contact lines. The maintenance vehicle for overhead contact lines makes it possible to ensure the undisrupted operation of overhead contact lines and the speedy restoration of traffic in the event of faults or breakdowns in overhead contact lines.