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.
In 2018, we carried 99 per cent of all freight on Estonian railways, and about 67 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 2019. For large freight volumes, the price is regulated by the customer agreement .
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.
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.
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 was 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.
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 C36, 2TE116 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.
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;
rolling stock cleaning (including tank wagons);
rolling stock painting.
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.
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.