Wabadus armored train to arrive in Tallinn Sunday

The original Wabadus armored train during the war of independence.
The original Wabadus armored train during the war of independence. Source: Social Media

A replica armored train is to arrive in Tallinn on Sunday, and will be open to the public. The train, called the Wabadus, is based on the original armored trains used in the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920).

Wabadus literally means "freedom" in Estonian, using the spelling conventions of the first Estonian Republic.

The train is to arrive at the Balti Jaam train station in central Tallinn, with an opening ceremony due at 2 p.m., followed by speeches from public figures and representatives of the voluntary Defence League (Kaitseliit), according to a city government press release.

The train will be open to visitors through to the following Sunday, Sept. 8, after which it will be open Wednesdays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A guided tour of the train takes about 45 minutes. Entry is free of charge.

"The exhibition of a historical replica armored train will surely appeal to people of all ages and languages," said central Tallinn district elder Vladmir Svet (Centre).

"Guides will provide tours in Estonian, Russian and English. It is well worth it if schools dedicate an entire history lesson to visiting the armored train," he added.

Visitors at the Wabadus replica armored train when it was exhibited in Tartu. Source: EV100

Groups should be no larger than 25 people; the train can accommodate two groups at a time, the city government says. Organizers also note that outdoor clothing is required when visiting.

The Wabadus has been exhibited at several locations around the country already.

Armored trains were in common use during the War of Independence against forces from the fledgling Soviet Russian state, providing mobile firepower at a time when road travel was in its infancy, and securing positions which ground troops could exploit.

Notable actions which featured armored trains included the liberation of Tapa by Estonian forces in early 1919. Two armored trains were later sent south of the border to Latvia, where they repelled German Baltische Landeswehr troops, also involved in fighting in the region.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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