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 ?KD, 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!
Produced by - Independent Transport Videos
Running time - 65 minutes (approx)
Format - 16:9 Widescreen
Release date - November 2017