Freight Transport

We have extensive experience in the transport of various types of goods. We provide daily freight transport services (transit, import, export and within Estonia) for chemicals, fertilisers, petroleum products, oil shale, lumber, grains, heavy and oversized equipment, bulk materials, palm oil, raw sugar, etc.

Freight related documentation can be found here. Read more about starting rail freight here.

In 2020, we carried 100 per cent of all freight on Estonian railways, and about 78 per cent of our freight is transit trade through Estonia.

We support Estonia’s imports and exports, but also intermodal goods freight within Estonia and between Estonia, Russia, China, and Scandinavia. We transport freight all around Estonia, including to the ports of Muuga, Paldiski and Sillamäe, and we ship goods via the Estonia-Russia and Estonia-Latvia border crossings to Europe and Asia. Our primary partners for transit trade are companies from Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Our main clients are freight forwarders, bulk goods owners, companies involved in transit freight, and manufacturing firms.

Container shipping

For over ten years, we have been operating a container train from the Port of Muuga to Moscow. In cooperation with our partners, we move freight to the Black Sea area, Yekaterinburg, the Central Asian countries, and elsewhere.

Main container service lines:

Moscow Express (Tallinn – Moskva – Tallinn)
ZUBR (Tallinn – Kiiev – Odessa – Tallinn)
Baltic Transit II (Tallinn – Almatõ – Tallinn)
Tallinn – Jekaterinburg – Tallinn
Amber train (Muuga-Riia- Šeštokai /Kaunas-Riia-Muuga)

We are developing container shippings in the China – Europe/Scandinavian direction.

Together with our partners, we offer individual solutions covering everything from freight route planning to delivery of the goods to the customer’s door.

Maire Talihärm

For container service-related queries, please contact our sales manager:

Maire Talihärm

Multimodal freight

Since 2017, we have also focused on multimodal freight transport, and together with our partners, we offer individual solutions covering everything from freight route planning to delivery of the goods to the customer’s door. We also provide solutions where rail transport is preceded by road shipping. Where needed, we can also organise freight transport on 1435 mm-gauge railways (Western and Central Europe, China).

We arrange multimodal container services in Estonia from Tartu to the Port of Muuga and back. The service allows access to rail transport even for companies lacking a rail connection. We arrange transport for containers from the port to factories, and for loaded containers back to the port, ensuring road transport from the factory to the station and back, as well as transhipment and rail transport. This is essentially a complete, door-to-door service, and the customers need not worry about coordinating different modes of transport.

For multimodal freight related services, please contact the Head of Multimodal Freight Transportation:

Sanda Benbik-Voitovitš

For multimodal freight related services, please contact the Head of Multimodal Freight Transportation:

Sanda Benbik-Voitovitš

Freight carriage under special conditions

Freight carriage under special conditions includes heavy, oversized, exceptionally long goods.

We transport oversized loads daily, and we develop securing plans for these eventualities. We have long-term experience in the shipment of every type of heavy equipment: tractors, bulldozers, cranes, and lorries, but also factory equipment, building and manufacturing structures, and tracked vehicles.

We offer to our clients:

  •  for both the consignor and the consignee   consultation for transport under special conditions;

  •  review and confirmation of freight schemes;

  •  commission acceptance of loads;

  •  coordination of freight schemes with other 1520 mm-gauge railways;

  • trainings and evaluation of technical conditions and other requirements.

For queries about transport of goods under special conditions, please contact our Sales Manager:

Kirill Spektor

For queries about transport of goods under special conditions, please contact our Sales Manager:

Kirill Spektor

Carriage of dangerous goods

Carriage of dangerous goods by rail takes place only under the supervision of a safety advisor who meets the requirements set out in the Chemicals Act. These are based on the requirements set out in the RID Annex to the COTIF Convention on International Carriage by Rail (Regulations Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods By Rail) and Annex 2 of the Agreement on International Goods Transport by Rail (SMGS).

Terms of Service

Rail transport is a specific, highly secured industry and is strictly regulated by international and national agreements, legislation, and regulations, a portion of which are available on our website.

For large freight volumes (a thousand tonnes or more a month), we recommend that you contact us for a quotation and, if appropriate, to conclude a partnership agreement. Rates of carriage and discounts for additional services can also be negotiated in the agreement.

For smaller freight volumes, transport of goods can be arranged by ordering directly through us (subject to standard terms, conditions and fees) or through a freight forwarder.


Pricing levels and principles of calculation for freight carriage charges are set out in transnational railway agreements, in the transport regulation , in Freight Payment Guide    and  in the     cooperation agreements with clients.   Clients with individual shipments and small volumes of cargo pay for freight and additional services   accoring to the Cargo Transportation Fee Calculation Guide 2020.   For large freight volumes, the price is regulated by the customer agreement.

More information is available from our Sales Manager for Freight Volumes:

Maire Talihärm

For container service-related queries, please contact our sales manager:

Maire Talihärm

Freight transport regulation

Rail freight regulation is extensive, and a large part of official documents for 1520 mm-gauge railways are only available in Russian—only the most essential documents are on our website. If you have any questions about freight documents or conditions relating to transport, our sales managers can help you.

Open freight stations

The station of origin and/or destination should be located within Estonia. It is possible to select an appropriate station for the receipt/shipping of your goods from the list of stations that are open for commercial operations.

Station operations are governed by technical management instruments issued by AS Eesti Raudtee.

Service agreements for branch lines also contain necessary information.


Tugijaam Paldiski

Vasalemma, Riisipere


Telephone: +3726157261

Cell: +3725156508

Fax: +3726157258

Tugijaam Ülemiste



Telephone: +3726157800

Cell: +37258005580

Fax: +3726157900

Tugijaam Ülemiste

Lagedi, Kehra, Aegviidu, Tapa, Tamsalu


Telephone: +3726158200

Cell: +3725263797

Fax: +3726158201

Tugijaam Muuga



Telephone: +3726158409

Cell: +3725187407

Fax: +3726158470

Tugijaam Tartu

Rakke, Jõgeva, Tabivere, Kärkna, Reola, Põlva, Veriora, Koidula, Elva, Sangaste, Valga, Karula, Antsla, Võru, Piusa


Telephone: +3727373200

Cell: +3725063816

Fax: +3727373620

Tugijaam Narva

Rakvere, Kiviõli, Püssi, Kohtla, Jõhvi, Vaivara, Soldina


Telephone: +3723567700

Cell: +37258047393

Fax: +3723567799

Freight transport in Finland

We are an international logistics company and we have recently expanded our operations also to Finland.

Operail Finland Oy shares the values of the Operail Group and offers the highest quality service to its customers. We bring more than 150 years of rail experience to the Finnish market and know how to transport goods safely.  At the same time, we are an innovative company who aims to come up with new solutions to the traditional business.

Our modern and effective engines provide reliable freight transport. Our flexibility and promptness derive from our dynamic organization and dedicated staff.

For more information, please contact the managing director of Operail Finland Oy:

Ilkka Seppänen

For more information, please contact the managing director of Operail Finland Oy:

Ilkka Seppänen

Uncompromising responsiveness We deliver. Anything and anytime. Delivery times are becoming shorter, distances and quantities are increasing. Whenever anything is needed, it is now and with certainty - there is no time to wait in the rushing world. We must work harder than expected to not miss the train.

Lease of wagons and engines

Leasing wagons is one of the main business activities  of Operail and has recently developed into a separate business areas. Our wagons are utilised on all of the 1520mm railway tracks  and successfully serve the freight transport between China and Europe. 

In 2012, we leased our first wagons. Five years later Operail Leasing and Operail Leasing Finland were formed for that very purpose. Altogether there are 3,600 wagons in the  in the Operail group, out of which more than half have been leased out.

We also purchase new wagons which help us service important freights, such as platform wagons for conteiner freights, foresty platforms and semi-wagons.

We mostly lease the following wagon types: closed wagons, platform wagons, semi-wagons, hoppers and tank wagons.

Operail also leases engines –   both for one-time freights and long-term. We lease C36-7i, TEM TMH, CME3 engine types.

For getting a price proposal and agreeing on the terms, please send an e-mail or call +372 615 7600.

Future practices Machines are the future. However, we, the users of the machines, own the future. The easier and more convenient practices we use, the clearer and more effective our actions will become and the closer we get to achieving our goals. Skills are more important than ownership and reliability is an indicator of success.

Rolling stock maintenance, repair and modernisation

We maintain, inspect, and repair all of our wagons and locomotives, and we also offer this service to our clients. We offer skilful services, owing to our in-depth knowledge of the requirements for rolling stock maintenance, and our work is always of a high quality. We are able to service and repair the most widely used goods wagon types. 

In general, we repair wagons and locomotives at the Tapa depot, which, with its 135-year history, is one of the oldest rolling-stock repair and maintenance enterprises in the 1520 mm-gauge railway network. We also carry out smaller volumes of locomotive maintenance, inspection and repairs at the Muuga depot.

In May 2016, we opened a new painting and cleaning shed, which can paint various metal details in addition to wagons.

We primarily repair C30-M, C36, TEM -TMH  and    CME3-type locomotives, but if necessary, we are also capable of servicing other types of locomotives for our clients. We also offer locomotive maintenance on site for our clients, and for this purpose, we have a qualified team that is able to provide services both in Estonia and abroad.

Operaili Tapa depot complies with the ISO 9001: 2015 quality management system standard.

In particular, we offer the following repair services:

  • running repairs, depot repairs, and overhauls of railway wagons;
  • lifespan extension for railway wagons;
  • repair for goods wagon parts and assemblies;
  • application of visible stencilling on railway wagons;
  • lifespan extension for bogies 18-100;
  • bogies 18-100 repair including installation of wear-resistant parts;
  • simple and complete inspection for wagon wheel sets;
  • wagon wheel set fabrication;
  • wagon and locomotive painting with old paint removal;
  • hydraulic testing for tank wagons;
  • cleaning and painting of metal parts;
  • locomotive maintenance and repair (including at client’s location);
  • locomotive aggregate and assembly maintenance and repair;
  • turning of railway rolling stock wheel set rolling surfaces;
  • turning of rolling stock wheel set rolling surfaces under rolling stock;
  • turning and milling of metal;
  • metal cutting;
  • welding;
  • rolling stock cleaning (including tank wagons);
  • rolling stock painting.

Locomotive modernisation

In 2017 at the Tapa depot, we upgraded the C30-M-type universal locomotive, which is designed for shunting and local transport operations. The locomotive has a robust, American frame, good running features and a reliable chassis, and modules designed and produced by our partner, CZ Loko, which were installed on the prefabricated frame in Tapa.

For more information on the C30-M locomotive, click here.

Locomotive specifications:

  • Engine type: Caterpillar 3512C HD with 1550  kW power
  • Axle load 23 t
  • Maximum speed of 100  km/h

Watch this video to see how the locomotive was assembled.

The first LNG freight locomotive in the Baltics and the neighbouring region

The construction of an LNG locomotive for regular service marks the start of a new era in Baltic rail transport and the region’s railway sector. Gas technology has previously only been tested and used on shunting locomotives.

The first LNG freight locomotive in the nearby region was completed in 2021 at the Operail’s Tapa depot During the conversion of the American General Electric C36 locomotive into an LNG freight locomitve, LNG tanks were added to the diesel fuel tank, which means that the locomotive can run on both diesel and LNG.

Using LNG locomotive brings savings of fuel costs a minimum of 30%, the locomotive emits 20% less carbon dioxide and 70% less sulphur dioxide than diesel locomotive.

Constant development We put faith in development and growth, but we are not naïve. We know that the resources and riches of the world are finite and that discourages lavish squandering. We take care of our surroundings by being environmentally responsible and mindful. Whenever possible, we ask less than offered and give more than expected.