Estland: Estonian Railways Eesti Raudtee - flexible transport Efficient logistics
Efficient logistics, flexible transport tariff policy, and sales strategy based on trust enable Eesti Raudtee to provide world class transport services to its customers. Powerful locomotives are ready to carry up to 8,000-ton trains. Compliance with security requirements meeting the European standards and tight cooperation with other links of the logistics chain ensure prompt arrival of your goods at any location in the world.
The first railway in Estonia was opened for traffic in 1870 on route Paldiski - Tallinn - Narva - Gatshina, and the same year it was connected to the railway St. Petersburg - Warsaw. In 1870 the Baltic Railway Company extended the line from Gatshina to Tosno, whereby the present link with October Railway was established. Due to the Baltic railway, the practically ice-free port of Tallinn started developing fast, where a large, for those times, grain elevator was built.
In 1877 the Tapa - Tartu railway line was opened and in 1887 it was extended to Valga where the line was connected to the railway Pskov - Riga, which was then being built. Regular traffic on the latter railway was opened two years later.
In 1896 the first narrow-gauge (750 mm) railway Valga - Pärnu was completed, in 1897 a railway line from Mõisaküla to Viljandi was opened, and from there further on to Paide and the port of Tallinn. Regular traffic between the above-mentioned cities was opened in 1901.In 1931 the wide-gauge (750 mm) railway Tartu - Pskov was completed, and Estonian ports were directly connected to the central regions of Russia and the Ukraine.
The independent Eesti Raudtee (EVR) was founded in 1918 on the basis of tracks of Looderaudtee (North-Western Railway), Esimese Juurdeveoteede Selts (First Association of Approach Tracks), and field tracks of the sea fortress and armed forces.
In 1940, when EVR was included in the USSR railway network, the length of Estonian tracks designated for public use was 1,447 km, of which 772 m were wide-gauge tracks and 675 m were narrow-gauge tracks.
The transition from steam engines to gasoline locomotives started in 1957 and continued for two years.
One of the principal bases of Eesti Raudtee transit capacity is the port of Muuga; the first stage of the port was commissioned in 1986. The reason why the port was built was the need to import grain to the Soviet Union. Concurrently with the construction of the port the railway was also reconstructed; the new port was connected to the railway and the construction of the second pair of tracks between Tallinn and Tapa was started.
The state-owned company Eesti Raudtee was founded on 1 January 1992, its task was the management of Estonian railways. During the same year Eesti Raudtee was reinstated as a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC, with headquarters in Paris), and Eesti Raudtee became a member of the Organisation for the Collaboration of Railways (OSShD, with headquarters in Warsaw).
In August 1997 the state-owned company was transformed into the public limited company Eesti Raudtee. AS Eesti Raudtee was further transformed pursuant to the privatisation scheme approved by the Government.
In 1998 an international competition jointly with the investor selected by way of competition was organised for the foundation of an international public limited company engaged in the transport of passengers.
In 1999 the Government introduced a significant change in the privatisation plans of Eesti Raudtee, namely, it was decided to surrender the signing of concession and instead sell 66% of majority shares. Resulting from this change, a task was imposed on the Estonian Privatisation Agency to sell the shares of AS Eesti Raudtee by way of international tender with preliminary negotiations.
Pursuant to the decision of the Government, in April 2000 the Estonian Privatisation Agency announced the privatisation of 66% of the shares of AS Eesti Raudtee by way of two-round international competition.
On March 2, 2001 the General Director of the Estonian Privatisation Agency invited BRS to sign the agreement on the privatisation of 66% of AS Eesti Raudtee shares and the privatisation and shareholder agreement; the final coming into force of the privatisation and shareholder agreement was made dependent on the payment of purchasing price. The Estonian Privatisation Agency granted BRS the option to pay the offered price on 31 August at the latest, and BRS complied with the specified date.
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