Estonian Trams - Tallinn
The three Baltic
States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were once part of the former Soviet
Union, gaining independence in 1991 and joining the E.U. in 2004. Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and is
situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, just an 82km sea
crossing from Helsinki, Finland. It has
a well-preserved walled old town with a charming atmosphere, but the trams and
trolleybuses operate outside of this area.
Tallinn’s horse-drawn tramway opened in 1888 and in 1915 steam trams
were introduced. Electrification of the
network began in 1925. Trolleybuses
began operating in 1965.
Our filming took
place in May 2017 and shows the current tram fleet consisting of Tatra KT4 vehicles manufactured by ČKD, including a number that have been
acquired second hand from the east German cities of Cottbus, Frankfurt (Oder),
Gera and Erfurt. There are also some Tatra KT6 variants, but we see only one Tatra KT6 tram in service - 98, still in
the older blue livery. These trams have had
a low-floor section added. The newest
trams are CAF Urbos AXL vehicles that
operate on Line 4. The trolleybus fleet
at the time of filming consists of modern Solaris
Trollino buses, both rigid (Type T12, T12B and T12AC) and articulated (Type
T18 and T18AC). The trolleybuses wear a white and blue livery
whereas the trams are in a white and dark orange colour scheme. Hybrid buses are also being introduced and
they are in a white and turquoise livery, with normal diesel buses wearing a
green and white livery. They are all
operated by the city municipality and are known as Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS with the fleet logo of ‘tlt’.
Our filming begins at the busy junction of Viru väljak and Mere
puiestee. We then continue along to
Narva maantee and Maneeži filming as we go.
Here we board tram 167, a Tatra
KT4 for a ride on line 2 to Balti jaam.
Due to major works, both line 1 & 2 now have a temporary terminus
here, so we see the trams turning on the temporary loop line. Balti jaam also has a trolleybus terminus, so
we now board trolleybus 333, a Solaris
T12 Trollino, and ride on route 5 to Mustamäe, a busy interchange. Here we also see the new Volvo hybrid buses passing through.
We then ride trolleybus 443, an articulated T18 Solaris Trollino to
Taksopark on route 3. From here we ride
on trolleybus 439, also on route 3 to Vabaduse väljak, a busy crossing where we
see the trolleybuses crossing the tramlines.
A ride on tram 516, a CAF Urbos
AXL on line 4 takes us to Tartu maantee for further filming before joining Tatra KT4, tram 147 as we travel to the
terminus of line 2 at Suur-Paala. A
further tram ride on tram 178 takes us back to the city centre at Viru väljak and then on CAF tram 511 to the terminus of line 3 & 4 in the suburb of
Tondi. Tram 179, a Tatra KT4 then takes us to L. Koidula, thus giving you a good tour
of this very nice Baltic States tram and trolleybus system. Our filming concludes in the early evening as
we see the trolleybuses and trams in action at Balti jaam, Mere puiestee and
Estonia puiestee. This programme
concludes with some photographs taken by Steve Kelly in Tallinn during a visit
he made in 2004. Enjoy!
|| 65 mins
|| Within UK - £16
|| Rest of world -
|| DVD -R
|| Picture Aspect 16:9