Terminal D stop removed from new tram line to save time and money

Harbor's terminal D is the biggest passenger terminal in Tallinn, which services over 6 million people a year.
Harbor's terminal D is the biggest passenger terminal in Tallinn, which services over 6 million people a year.

Initially, the new tram line running between Ülemiste passenger terminal (Rail Baltica) and the old harbor (Vanasadam) was supposed to depart from Terminal D of the harbor. However, it was decided that this would make the tram line less effective and increase needless travel time for passengers, so the proposal was scrapped, Vladimir Svet, the deputy mayor of Tallinn, told ERR.

Svet said that the decision to not run a tram line to Terminal D was made several years ago and this possibility is no longer being considered in the current plans.

"The problem was that if the tram's trajectory had taken it through both the D and A terminals, it would have had a lot of empty running and lost kilometers, it would have cost a lot, it would have meant extra time for users, reducing the tram's value to users, and it would have slowed down," explained the deputy mayor.

To reduce extra travel and time, the city planned to move the tram from Terminal D across the Admiralty Basin via bridge, but the Port of Tallinn had other plans, and so the city's plan was scrapped.

"The city proposed looking into the possibility of constructing the Admiralty Bridge so that a tram could save time. Such a solution did not fit the Port's goal of moving this bridge project forward more quickly at the time," Svet explained.

Svet couldn't say how much money the current solution saved.

"It came down to how much time the tram would have lost, not how much money it would have cost. Given that the D-terminal area has become more bike and pedestrian friendly, I believe it is more important now to integrate this area holistically with the upcoming tram stops," the deputy mayor said.

Negotiations with property owners for the tram line construction are nearing the end, Svet continued.

"If we obtain a building permit, we will have the legal authority to build it.
We are still negotiating to clarify the procedures for land-use planning and to identify solutions, e.g. such as the number of trees that can be planted in a specific area, but the fundamental issues have been resolved," Svet said.

Future Liivalaia tram will not be extended to Terminal D

Furthermore, no plans exist to connect the future Liivalaia-Kristiine tram route to Terminal D. According to the plan, the line will join the existing tramway at the intersection of Liivalaia and Tartu maantee. In this way there is a direct route to Terminal D by traveling along Pronksi tänav and Jõe tänav.

"Jõe and Pronksi streets will not have any lines for the time being. It is not impossible that when all of the major projects are completed and plans are made beyond 2035, or even 2040, it will come to this. For the time being, we have to consider the routes that we have planed, where decisions had been made and where EU funding was secured," Svet said.

In Tallinn, work on a tram line connecting Ülemiste passenger terminal and the old harbor area (Vanasadam) will begin in March. As this is infrastructure for Rail Baltica, the European Union is contributing €26 million.

The Old Harbor tram line will cost around €46 million to build, including tax.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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