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Eesti Raudtee (Estonian Railways)

Exited | 9-Jan-2007

Fast Facts

Length (km)


Annual Tonnage

26.1 million

Length (mi)






Major Traffic Flows

Oil, coal, grain fertilizer, containers, timber


In 1870, the first railway in Estonia was opened between Paldiski - Tallinn - Narva - Gatchina, connecting with the St. Petersburg - Warsaw railways.  In 1931 the Tartu-Petseri broad gauge railway was completed, linking the Estonian ports with the interior of Russia and Ukraine. In 1992 the state-owned Eesti Raudtee ("EVR") was established from the former Baltic Railways administration of Soviet Railways.  EVR owns and operates approximately 500 miles (693 km) of five-foot gauge railway. EVR handles an annual average of 40 million tons of freight, with its major cargo being Russian petroleum products moving in unit trains to the ice-free Estonian ports on the Baltic Sea.  Independent operators provide passenger service using EVR's infrastructure under access agreements.  

In 1997 EVR prepared for a reorganization and privatization plan to transfer operations not connected with its main line of business.  Thus, EVR Ekspress was established to operate international passenger traffic between Estonia and Russia; Elektriraudtee operates Tallinn commuter trains on electrified lines; and Edelaraudtee operates all other internal passenger traffic with diesel trains and railroad freight on the Tallinn-Pärnu-Mõisaküla and Lelle-Viljandi lines.

On August 31, 2001 Baltic Rail Services ("BRS") purchased a controlling 66% interest in EVR. BRS investors included Rail World Inc. (USA); Emerging Europe Infrastructure Fund (UK); Ganiger Invest OÜ (Estonian entrepreneurs); RDC; and until 2003 Jarvis Estonia BV (UK).  The Estonian government held the remaining 34% interest in EVR.

On January 9, 2007 EVR was re-nationalized when BRS completed the sale of its 66% interest back to the Estonian government, ending over five years of private sector management. 

System Map

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