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Tallinn tram network celebrates anniversary

The Tallinn tram network, which started regular service with the Viru väljak-Kadriorg horsecar line in 1888, celebrates its 135th anniversary with a festive public party at Kopli depot (Kopli 118) at 12:00 on 26 August. The party will be preceded by a parade of old trams starting at 10:30 from the Vana-Lõuna roundabout and heading to Kopli through the city.

According to Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet, it is important to celebrate the tram line’s distinguished anniversary at a time when a major extension of the tram infrastructure in the direction of Vanasadam has been launched to make tram services even more convenient and dependable for Tallinn residents. “It’s hard to imagine Tallinn public transport without its trams,” said Svet. “The tram serves as the backbone of public transport in many areas in Tallinn. Its development will therefore contribute to improving overall mobility as well as the wider urban space. The Vanasadam tram line, currently under construction and linking important transport hubs – the airport, the harbour and the train station – will certainly not be the last, as we intend to develop several other new lines in the future. The first steps in this direction have already been taken. In addition, we are currently considering the possibility of making the temporary route between Kopli and Pärnu Street permanent, as there is substantial demand for this route.”

According to TLT board member Kaido Padar, the tram is as significant a symbol for Tallinn as the city’s guard Old Thomas in the tower of Raekoja or the peak of St. Olav’s Church which adorns the skyline of the capital. “For the residents of the capital, riding the tram has been associated with safe arrival and the joy of transport for generations and it’s not a surprise that the tram has been awarded the title of people’s favourite in numerous opinion polls,” explains Padar regarding the importance of the tram’s anniversary for the capital and its residents. “We have a reason to celebrate the anniversary of the tram, because despite its advanced and dignified age, our tram is in excellent condition and we want to celebrate that with the people of Tallinn,” the TLT board member adds.

The Tallinn tram network 135 party on 26 August starts with a parade featuring such rarities as the T-11 special tram from 1936, followed by the horsecar tram carriage renovated in 1988 with the TLT’s own brass band. The parade also features T-4, the rail-grinding and track-cleaning tram, built in 1951 at the Ilmarine factory, the shunting tram from 1963, the rail-grinding and track-cleaning tram from 1965 and several other rare and beautiful trams. At 10:30, everyone is welcome to watch the parade starting from the Vana-Lõuna tram loop.

The Kopli depot will open its doors to city residents at 12:00, where they will be able to explore the old, dignified trams as well as the trams in use today, both from the inside and outside. A film will be shown inside the depot. While riding the tram, you can also pass through the tram wash. Specially made vouchers will be distributed for this event, which can be marked with nostalgic composters as well as the Tram 135 anniversary print, which features an overview of the impressive history of the Tallinn tram network.

The festive mood will be kept up by the concert programme on stage in the outdoor area of the depot, featuring a number of musicians, in whose honour the music trams serving Tallinn residents have been named.

At 12:00, the TLT brass band will kick off the concert. 

At 12:30, accordion maestro Heino Tartes will perform with his friends.

At 13:30, the Ellerhein children’s choir chamber ensemble will sing.

At 14:30, crowd favourite Anne Veski will take to the stage.

At 15:15,  Kaur-Erik Pääsuke will perform Jaak Joala’s songs.

At 16:00, a surprise performer will take to the stage, ending the day with a bang.

In addition to interesting activities at the depot and an enjoyable concert programme, historical tram tours will depart from Kopli’s final stop, organised by TLT in cooperation with the Tallinn City Museum. You can register for the tour on the museum’s website

The whole programme is free of charge for Tallinn residents.