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New harbor tram line confirmed: Tallinn to purchase additional new trams

Within three or four years, every tram in Tallinn may be either new or renovated.
Within three or four years, every tram in Tallinn may be either new or renovated. Source: (Martin Dremljuga/ERR)

The City of Tallinn is currently compiling procurement guidelines for the purchase in the near future of eight new trams, and the option to purchase up to another 20, which will serve the now-confirmed future harbor line.

The new trams to be purchased by the city will serve a new tram line connecting to the the capital city's port.

"This is certain, yes, but there are around two or three routes currently being argued over in the City Planning Department," Tallinn City Transport (TLT) board chairman Enno Tamm confirmed.

The number of new trams needed to be purchased will depend on the final route choice as well as the planned schedule.

"Whether we need 11 or 18, nobody currently knows, which is why we are announcing a procurement with an option, so that we can immediately purchase the number of trams we need based on the harbor tram's routes," Tamm said. "I believe that this should become clear within about one year's time."

Another eight trams to be purchased via the procurement would replace some of the old Czech trams currently still in use. Unlike the old trams, the new ones would be low-floor trams, which improve accessibility for passengers in wheelchairs or with strollers, for example.

The city hopes to have the procurement documentation drawn up by next spring, but they have taken the possibility of disputes into account in planning their timeline, due to which it is unclear exactly when the new trams can be expected to enter into service. The city is currently figuring on approximately two years.

"Such procurements unfortunately always involve litigation," Tamm noted. "It is clearly too early to predict when we will reach a contract with the successful bidder."

Unrenovated trams to be phased out

The most recently purchased CAF trams cost €2.3 million apiece. The city hopes to procure the new trams for approximately €2.5 million apiece, bringing the total cost for eight new trams to around €20 million.

Likely bidders include Stadler, Bombardier and CAF.

Realistically, the new trams acquired via the procurement can be expected to enter service in Tallinn in three or four years.

The city's current tram network needs 52 trams to operate, 20 of which are new CAF trams and seven of which are renovated old Czech trams featuring a low floor in the center of the car. Another seven Czech trams currently undergoing the same renovations will soon reenter service, and the Kadriorg line will feature six retro trams, one of which is already in service, which means that Tallinn's tram network will soon be served by a total of 40 new or renovated trams.

The old trams will remain in service in Tallinn at least until the eight new trams to be procured have arrived.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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