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Operail switches workshop focus from wagon repairs to locomotives

02 May 2019

ESTONIA: Freight group Operail’s supervisory board has approved the management’s proposal for changes at the Tapa depot which will direct resources towards locomotive rebuilding activities rather than wagon repairs. 

Repair activities at the site have not been profitable in recent years because of the extent to which work depends on the market in neighbouring countries, Chairman of the supervisory board Kuldar Leis said on April 22. ‘For wagon repairs, we cannot compete with depots where labour costs, materials and spare parts are cheaper’, he said. ‘With this step, Operail is confirming the general trend in Estonia of doing work that is smarter and has extra added value, and focusing less on work that is outsourced or subcontracted.’

The changes will entail the loss of 21 jobs, while 37 employees will be retrained for the locomotive work.

Wagon wheelset inspections and fabrication will continue, and Operail will continue to undertake repairs at its servicing sites.

‘We will definitely continue to focus on freight transport and wagon rentals, and we will pay more attention to digitisation and providing services to new markets in the coming years’, said management board Chairman Raul Toomsalu.