The Tallinn District Court satisfied on Friday, Dec. 20 partly the appeal of the Economy and Communications Ministry and kept a contract concluded between the ministry and Elektriraudtee (new name Elron), on the latter operating new passenger trains, in force, reports Postimees Online. The court explained that keeping the contract in force was in the public’s interest. The court shortened the term of the contract, though, to two years instead of the four years that it was originally intended for.
With the Friday decision, the District Court annulled the Nov. 1 decision by the Tallinn Administrative Court, and the Sept. 4 decision of the state procurements dispute committee, which had ruled that the contract between the state and Elektriraudtee was null and void since the state should have found the passenger train traffic operator with procurement proceedings, instead of just picking a company.
The Estonian government decided in June that the new 18 electric trains and up to 20 diesel engine trains from Stadler Bussnang AG that the state bought will be used only by the state-owned electric commuter train operator Elektriraudtee. Currently the state-owned Elektriraudtee operates electric railway lines and privately-owned Edelaraudtee operates diesel engine operated intercity lines. In order to launch the new diesel trains on routes from Jan. 1 next year, the state decided to end its existing contract with Edelaraudtee a year early. Edelaraudtee disputed the decision.