Tallinn tram procurement postponed

Trams in Tallinn.
Trams in Tallinn. Source: TLT

While the Tallinn City Transport Company (TLT) first started looking for eight new trams a year ago, manufacturers have asked for a continuance and the winner of the tender will be declared in 2021.

TLT declared the international procurement for eight new trams with an option of ordering another 15 trams last October. The plan was to pick the winner in the first quarter of 2020.

However, no winning bid has been chosen to date and the winner is scheduled to be picked in the first quarter of 2021, the municipal company's press representative Olga Polienko told ERR. Bids needed to be in by November 4.

"The procurement process has been long. Considering the emergency situation and pandemic, the deadline for bids has been postponed. It is to be believed that the winning bidder will be chosen in the first quarter of next year if bids are in accordance with procurement conditions," Polienko said.

TLT is procuring eight trams with an option of buying 15 more. The first eight should start ferrying passengers in Tallinn in 2023.

The new trams will cost the city €25.3 million. Tallinn's budget for 2021 has €2.32 million earmarked for trams. Polienko said that the sum constitutes the first payment for the new trams. But this requires a winner to be declared in time. The initial procurement failed because the only bidder, Spanish company CAF, abandoned the process.

The problem with small tram procurements is the fact Tallinn's tramways sport a track gauge of 1,067 millimeters, while the standard in Western Europe is usually 1,435 mm.

Member of the board of TLT Lennart Viikmaa told ERR last year that the 2019 procurement failed because manufacturers had too many orders, as well as because building tams for Tallinn would constitute extra work.

Tallinn needs new trams by 2023 as that is when the city is set to open a new tram line between Ülemiste City and the Old Harbor area.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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