Replica armoured train to begin cross-country journey in Kehra on Tuesday

The Wabadus was a replica built this autumn of the armoured trains used in Estonia's War of Independence a century ago.
The Wabadus was a replica built this autumn of the armoured trains used in Estonia's War of Independence a century ago. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

An exhibition tour of Wabadus, the replica armoured train No. 7 built in Tapa in commemoration of the armoured trains used in the War of Independence a century ago, will begin at Kehra Train Station on 4 January.

Through 1 February, the replica train will journey south through Estonia to the border town of Valga, following the historic route which was a front line in the War of Independence that lasted from 1918-1920. The tour will be complemented by exhibits focused on the train and the events of the War of Independence.

"On 4 January, 100 years will have passed since the decisive battle which halted the enemy forces' advance toward Tallinn," said Toomas Kiho, head of the Government Office's Steering Group for Estonia 100. "This battle will be reenacted by the Estonian War Museum and Estonian war history clubs at a battlefield near Kehra on 6 January."

"The armoured train's journey along the former front line will end in Valga on 1 February," said Estonian War Museum Director Hellar Lill. "After the journey concludes on the front line, the train will tour other railways all over Estonia through the end of 2019."

The replica armoured train consists of a gun carriage, a machine gun carriage, a crew carriage, a medical carriage, and an "Estonia" armoured vehicle mounted on a platform. The train's journey will be part of a series of events titled "Journey of Freedom" taking place next month to mark the 100th anniversary of Estonia's War of Independence. Throughout the month, several mock battles, hikes and commemorative ceremonies will be held all over the country.

Construction of the Wabadus was realised with the support of the Organising Committee of Estonia 100, the Estonian War Museum, and Estonian state-owned rail cargo operator Operail. The armoured train and vehicle's journey is supported by Estonian Railways (EVR), the volunteer Estonian Defence League, and local governments.

Official celebrations of the centennial of the Republic of Estonia will continue through 2 February 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty in 1920. In 2019, centennial events will focus on the War of Independence.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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