Estonian national freight operator Operail has sold another 807 wagons from its leasing fleet for EUR 22.1 million as part of a non-core asset sale program. Railway Supply writes about this with reference to the Railway Gazette. More than 40 companies were invited to participate, 20 tender proposals were submitted.


After what Operail says was a “long and stressful sale process”, two subsidiaries of the Kazakh logistics group ATASU purchased a total of 410 railcars in late December, while Estonian railcar leasing company Skinest Rail bought 397 railcars in mid-January.

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The latest sales follow the purchase of 522 Operail railcars located in Ukraine by Fortior Capital and Teslar Trans. The price of 6.51 million euros was affected by the war, which made it difficult to take the wagons out of the country. Negotiations are underway to sell the remaining cars.

Most are leased to European companies and are used in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia and the Baltic countries. Operail said none of them were leased to Russia.

Operail began leasing 1520 mm gauge wagons in 2001. Business expanded when Russian transit traffic dwindled after riots caused by the removal of a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn in 2007. “The media painted a picture that car rental is Operail’s “Russian business”. This is not true, the business was launched with the opposite goal – to reduce the dependence on the transit of goods from Russia.”

Operail said wagon leasing has generated 99% of the company’s profits over the past six years, but the government has decided to pull out of the business because it is not of strategic importance.

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