Empty for years and at one point on the brink of abandonment, Tartu train station's main building reopened yesterday to the strains of a waltz played by a wind ensemble.
With renovation work coming down the final stretch of track, the tsarist-era building looks much as it did 125 years ago. Video footage of the new building can be seen here (audio is in Estonian).
At the opening, Tartu Mayor Urmas Kruuse said he hoped the waiting room and building would not just serve travelers, but that it could be a place for art exhibitions or even theater, ETV reported.
As it stands, although there are three to four trains to Tallinn each day and two other lines stopping at the station, the area is even light on traveler infrastructure. Until last year, the closest place to reprovision (other than the cafe on the two daily trains with first class cars) was several hundred meters away.
In 2006, fire broke out in the station, destroying most of the Soviet-era interior, but the original detail work was under a layer of plaster and stone and survived.
The last stationmaster, Evi Miller, said that before being closed, the building looked desolate.
The building is owned by OÜ AK-Varad and the station will operate from there at least until 2031.
The restoration of the building cost slightly over 1 million euros.