Railtrack operator bows to public pressure and installs Tallinn crossing

Railroad crossing in Estonia (picture is illustrative).
Railroad crossing in Estonia (picture is illustrative). Source: Karin Koppel

A pedestrian rail crossing is to be installed on the outskirts of Tallinn after the public had been taking things into its own hands and crossing anyway.

Railtrack operator Eest Raudtee says the measure, at a section of line near the Järve Center in Nõmme, south of the city center, is a temporary one and won't set a precedent for other semi-permanent installations.

While fences had been installed, members of the public had cut them in order to cross in preference to taking a more circuitous route, prompting Eesti Raudtee to install the temporary crossing due to safety concerns, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Thursday night.

"We had installed fences to improve safety, but because people were still crossing in quite intensive numbers we decided to install a temporary crossing,"  Raul Vjatkin, head of Eesti Raudtee's construction services department told AK. 

The crossing will cost €50,000 to construct and will be ready by December, he said.

Vjatkin added that a crossing had not been put in place at the location in the past due to poor visibility, but since people were taking things into their own hands and crossing, safety considerations shifted. At the same time this did not mean the company was going to bow to public pressure and put in temporary crossings elsewhere, he said. 

Train drivers have been instructed to sound their horn on approaching the stretch, he said, though will not adjust their speed. 

Longer-term, a pedestrian tunnel in the vicinity should solve the problem. 

Rail safety at pedestrian and road crossings has been in focus in the past, with a spate of fatalities in Tallinn and beyond in recent years prompting rail operators to jointly issue a safety video last year. 


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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