Municipalities request new development plan for railroad bypassing Tallinn

The proposed route of the railroad bypass.
The proposed route of the railroad bypass. Source: ERR

A request to initiate plans for a new railway line that will bypass Tallinn has been submitted by local governments in Harju County. Municipalities and companies have committed to co-financing the report.

The plan will access the impact of the railway line and confirm a route. The route has been discussed for several years and it has been agreed the track will start at Muuga Harbor, connect to the Paldiski line, and travel around both ends of Lake Ülemiste.

The development of the line, also known as the ring railway, would allow people living locally to travel to and from Tallinn and Paldiski, a port city in north-western Estonia, Mayor of Lääne-Harju Erki Ruben told Wednesday evening's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

"The Tallinn railroad bypass will reach the Port of Muuga, where goods can be transported. When Rail Baltic comes, there will be different opportunities to move goods south," he added.

It would also allow Tallinn to move freight stations outside of the city, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) believes. This would allow for additional urban space development opportunities in these areas.

"But at the same time, the railroad bypass will also bring us additional mobility opportunities. /.../ In the long run, the amount of traffic on the streets of Tallinn will be reduced because it is known that about 30 percent of traffic comes from outside of Tallinn," he said.

The plan will not be finalized anytime soon, as it will take seven years to draw up. A time-scale, construction and cost will become clearer in the future.

But planning needs to start now so the bypass can be included in a national development plan, said Andre Sepp, head of the Association of Local Governments of Harju County. 

"The task of municipalities and cities is to draw up general plans, to anticipate land use and spatial development. And, of course [...] then it is up to the local council to decide if it will go through residential areas, industrial areas or other recreation areas," he said.

Eleven partners have agreed to give €1.3 million over seven years towards the plan's development. The state will need to chip in €2.1 million if it's given the go-ahead by ministries.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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