Safety is one of the main priorities for Estonian Railways as an infrastructure company. At the end of 2019, Estonian Railways signed a cooperation contract with a Spanish company Ingeniería y Control Ferroviario for upgrading crossings and pedestrian crossings.

As a result of the cooperation, 103 crossings and 9 pedestrian crossings on the Estonian Railways infrastructure will be equipped with crossing automation systems which meet the contemporary requirements. Contractual work is planned to be completed in four to five years. Further information can be found in the news here:

In addition to foregoing, the company is intending to further investigate which safety measures could be implemented at pedestrian railway crossings. For this reason, we are openly looking to other railways and infrastructure areas to find an answer to the question of what we as a company could do more to improve the safety on our infrastructure. This is particularly prevalent in a situation where people are often walking around, headphones on and eyes glued to their smart-devices.

Both accidents and life-threatening situations where death on the railway is a matter of seconds are linked to the fact that:
- Railways are crossed in a hurry without making sure that it’s safe
- When crossing the railway, attention is on the smart device
- Railways are crossed on a bicycle
- Headphones and other devices causing distraction are being used
- Regardless of an approaching train people continue to cross the railway
- Railways are crossed in forbidden locations

There are great examples of road crossings made smarter all over the world. Estonian Railways is looking for similar options that could be implemented on our railway crossings. The main difference between a road and a railway is the train always having a right of way on the railway, simply because the train will not be able to stop as quick as any other vechicle. Furthermore, the braking distance of a train is thirty times longer than that of a passenger car, so with no exceptions – a train will always have to be given way!

In this context, we are announcing a market research for making crossings smarter in a way that makes use of the existing or future physical infrastructure. The objective is to help save lives and create an even safer traffic environment. With this market research, we are giving those with potential solutions or innovative ideas an opportunity to demonstrate those. We are asking the participants to present their ideas as a sample solution on the basis of Pääsküla railway crossing (link to the materials):!Asyl4NdTT3sSgfYypcW-ONQJ-RctRA?e=oOqMLP). We do not expect the participants to have a ready-made solution and are open to innovative ideas and contemporary technological possibilities.

To participate in the study, please present your idea in free form. What is important is that we get an overview of the idea and the value offered. Input information should cover the introduction of the functionality and technology(ies) to be implemented in order to understand the feasibility and complexity of implementing the solution. You may also present technical specifications of the solution, investment needs for implementation, potential further costs, product materials, demo video, etc. Based on the collected ideas, we can make decisions on future projects and possibly make use of those in future procurements. It must be taken into account that the implementation of technologies is subject to various restrictions in the field of railways, and respective supervision in Estonia is conducted by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (CPTRA). The opportunities and threats will be analysed after the market research is completed. Participation in market research does not give any advantage in the potential future procurement.

The invitation to participate in market research is published on the website of Estonian Railways. We look forward to receiving feedback until 31st of May 2020.

Maia Sokk
Innovation Manager at Estonian Railways
E-mail: See e-posti aadress on spämmirobotite eest kaitstud. Selle nägemiseks peab su veebilehitsejas olema JavaSkript sisse lülitatud.
Tel: +372 520 6525