Rail Baltica initially expecting fewer than 100 passengers per train

According to Rail Baltica’s initial operational plan, four international high-speed passenger trains would depart from Tallinn every day. The trains, which are initially projected to carry under 100 passengers each, are expected to grow over time, as are the number of departures.

In order to begin making decisions regarding Rail Baltica’s future stations and hubs, and how many platforms and bypasses will be necessary, RB Rail AS commissioned an initial operational plan, or schedule, for the international railway. According to this schedule, four high-speed trains would depart from Tallinn every day.

RB Rail board member Mart Nielsen told ERR that they hope to see at least two additional departures added to the schedule within ten years.

“It is possible that, according to our plans, 70-100 passengers per train is our average load factor,” Mr Nielsen said. “Looking forward ten years, we expect this to double or triple, and in another ten years even moreso.”

In addition to increasing the number of departures, trains can always be made longer as well. The RB Rail board member noted that Slovenia operates trains with three carriages that are typically operated with eight in larger countries.

The initial schedule also foresees the operation two night trains, or overnight trains, as well. Mr Nielsen noted that night trains had tended to go down in popularity, but Austrian national rail operator ÖBB had recently introduced 26 night train departures from Vienna that have proven incredibly popular.

“Beginning at 19:00, trains depart Vienna Central Railway Station in various directions, such as toward Rome, Milan, Hamburg, Warsaw and Zagreb,” he explained. “And they are unbelievably popular, and sold out far in advance. They conducted a study regarding why people are interested in [these night trains]. Many people don’t like dealing with airports in the morning, some are afraid of flying, and, in a significant change, people are increasingly talking about the environmental aspect.”

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