The building of the harbour tramway is linked to Rail Baltic and the venture’s goal is to connect the Ülemiste terminal with the Old City Harbour.
Bearing in mind the infrastructure in place today, Deputy Mayor Andrei Novikov said that it is possible to establish a viable connection of Tallinn Airport, Rail Baltic terminal and the Old City Harbour. „In order to do so, we have to find the best possible route that would allow maximum connection speed and would have a minimal negative impact to the surrounding traffic and the city environment,“ added Novikov. To reach this goal, the city will use its infrastructure to the maximum, despite the fact that the new tramway means a new route.
The Deputy Mayor noted that the new tramway and route has many advantages. „In a separate corridor, the tram can move faster and the impact on the surronding traffic is minimal (possible traffic accidents, congestion, etc). In addition, the plans for Gonsiori street foresee a minimal number of possible conflict points (crossings, lane changes etc),“ said Novikov and added, that the proposed plan has a minimal number of potential underground obstacles such as cables etc.
The tram line is to extend from Gonsiori Street to Laikmaa street, from there after crossing the Laikmaa street and Narva Highway to Hobujaama street, over the Ahtri Street. From there, the route will continue across the Laeva Street to Kuunari street, going along the Kai Street to A-terminal. Then the tram will turn around and reverse coming from Logi Street to Rumbi Street going to Põhja Avenue and from there to Mere Avenue where it will connect to the infrastructure already there today. The planned route can be seen here.
According to Taavi Aas, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, the new tramway is a good example of economical planning of city transport and also of how and in what ways such a major infrastructure investment can benefit local governments.
“Although we can actually take these trains in the second half on the decade, Tallinn is able to develop intercity transport and connect the local transport hubs that are also important on the European level thanks to the Rail Baltic project and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). We have been enjoying going to the airport by tram since 2017, and in a few years the same is possible when going to the harbour. Ülemiste is becoming a big transport hub where trams, trains, planes and now also indirectly, ships will all be connected,” said Aas.
“We expect that Tallinn’s popularity as one of the main tourist attractions of the country will recover once the emergency situation is over. A better connection of the city hall, Balti Jaam, City Centre and Ülemiste allows the residents of the city and tourists to reach the attractions and the always enchanting Old Town even better,” added Aas.
Tallinn has put together the design specifications and will move forward with the preparations of the procurement needed for preliminary design.
The procurement for the preliminary design project will be launched this May. Designing of the route will take place in 2021 and the construction will begin in 2022. According to the preliminary schedule, the works would be finished late 2023. The cost of the new tramway is approximately 15-20 million euros.