Previously, it had seemed that the tramline connecting Tallinn Airport to Vanasadama, which is currently being constructed at a cost of €46 million, would run on an entirely new route. However, in reality, Tallinn's tram number 2, will switch from its current route, to a new one, connecting the airport to Vanasadama and then on to Kopli.
According to Indrek Gailan, head of the City of Tallinn's Transport Department, once the Vanasadama (Old Harbor) tramline in has been completed, the plan is for tram number 2 to switch from its current route, and connect to the airport. "This will mean that in the future, all the important transport hubs will be linked up: the airport, the Rail Baltic terminal, the bus station, the passenger port and the Baltic station (Balti jaam)," Gailan said.
Tram number 2 will therefore run from Tallinn Airport to Gonsiori tänav along the current line, before turning onto the new line at Gonsiori tänav and Laikmaaa tänav. It will then pass through Hobujaama to the port's A-terminal and turn towards Linnahall, reaching the current tramline at Mere puiestee. From there, it will continue on to the Baltic Station (Balti jaam) and then Kopli, as it has done up to now.
Tram number 2 will also follow the same route from Kopli to the airport, via the harbor and Hobujaama. One of the reasons for this, is Tallinn's desire to reduce traffic on the Viru ring.
For the time being, tram number 2 will remain the only line running to Tallinn Airport.
Tram number 4, which, up until construction began on the new tramline, ran between Tondi and the airport will now go to Suur-Paalas on Peterburi tee instead. Its new terminus will be where tram number 2 previously terminated.
"It will be possible to transfer from Tondi to the airport," Gailan confirmed.
Up to now, it has not proved feasible to run two lines to the airport. In order to accommodate a second tramline, additional track would need to be built, at an estimated cost of a few hundred thousand euros. There are no plans to this end for the near future.
"At the moment, there are no agreements with the airport to build an additional section, which would enable there to be another tramline to the airport. However, that issue is under discussion," said Gailan.
The Vanasadama (Old Harbor) tramline is expected to be ready for use as soon as next summer and will finally be completed in early 2025.
Tram number 6 likely to remain in service
However, tram number 6, which was initially put into service as a temporary measure while the Vanasadama tramline is being constructed, has proved incredibly popular with the public. So much so, that its period of service has already been extended until the end of October. According to the Tallinn City Transport Department, tram number 6 has even outperformed lines 2 and 4, which resumed their operations in early September. It is unsurprising then, that it is likely to become a permanent feature of the city's transport network from now on.
While no final decision has been announced regarding tram number 6's future by the municipality, the latest indications suggest that it does want it continue operating. Discussions are said to underway regarding whether it will ultimately terminate at the Vana-Lõuna depot or in Tondi.
"The biggest stumbling block relates to Tondi terminus' capacity to receive trams, as well as the burden on the Viru ring. There are limited possibilities to increase the capacity of the Tondi terminus due to insufficient space," said Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center).
Gailan confirmed that discussions are currently underway on where exactly tram number 6 will operate in the future. "No final decision has yet been made on whether the tram on the Kopli-Pärnu route will run to Tondi or Vana-lõuna, but those discussions are also ongoing," he said.
In the early 2000s, tram number 5 terminated at a roundabout near the tram depot in Vana-Lõuna, rather than in Tondi. Its other terminus was in Kopli.
Tramlines 1 and 3, which will start running again this Sunday, are set to resume along their former routes, from Kopli to Kadriorg and Tondi to Kadriorg, respectively.
This means that, for October at least, there will be five tramlines operating in Tallinn. However, train services between Tondi and Balti jaam are set to be interrupted between October 21 and 29, while work takes place on the Tondi viaduct.
This fall, a decision is also expected regarding which of three new tramlines - Liivalaia-Tehnika, Tondi-Järve or Pelgulinna – is to be built first. The Estonian state has granted the City of Tallinn €40 million in EU funds to this end, added to Tallinn's own financing, which is about a third of the amount. Tallinn will also have to pay for the design of the line.
Editor: Michael Cole