Mar 1

The Reconstruction of Contact Networks on Electric Railroad Lines – Socio-Economic Cost-Benefit Analysis


The maintaining of electric trains does not only assume the renovation of the train park but also the infrastructure. The purpose of this investment project was to renovate the contact network and by that continue the existence of electric train operation in Estonia. The normative time of exploitation for contact networks is 40 years but the existing contact network on Tallinn – Paldiski and Keila-Vasalemma lines was built already between 1958-1964. Our objective was to assess the socio-economic cost-benefit of this project.

The analysis was based on methodical guidelines issued by the European Commission for conducting investment projects’ cost-profit analysis. Two scenarios were analysed:
• the existing contact network is not reconstructed, it is dismantled and electric trains are replace by diesel trains (SO);
• the existing contact network is reconstructed according to the  schedule proposed in the project (S1);

As a result of the analysis it was found that the reconstruction of the 3kV contact network is preferred to the dismantling of the network. Financially it would be more profitable for AS EVR Infra to dismantle the network if we compare quantitative scenarios where the contact network is either dismantled and thereafter diesel trains are used or the contact network is reconstructed and electrical trains continue to be used. Socioeconomically it is more profitable to procure electrical trains because it gives several additional external profits (e.g, smaller air pollution and time saving).

The entire cost of the investment is 390 million kroons, results of the analysis allowed funding from the European Regional Fund.

The analysis was commissioned by ASI Consult OÜ, the final user of the project was AS Eesti Raudtee.