Tallinn celebrates 135 years since the launch of its tram service 

The tram service in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, which began with the launch of the Viru Square-Kadriorg regular horsecar line in 1888, celebrated its 135th anniversary with a party that started at the Kopli depot at noon on 26 August, preceded by a parade of old-timer streetcars at the Vana-Lõuna roundabout. 

The deputy mayor of Tallinn, Vladimir Svet, described it as “significant” that the city is celebrating the “honourable anniversary” of the tram service at a time when an expansion of the tramway infrastructure has started in the direction of the Old City harbour.

“It is hard to imagine public transport in the capital without trams. The tram is the backbone of public transport for many areas of Tallinn. Therefore, its development contributes to improving mobility as a whole, but also the urban space in general. The Old City Harbor streetcar line, which is currently under construction and will connect important transport hubs – the airport, the port and the train station – will definitely not be the last, as we want to build other new lines in the future. The first steps in this regard have already been taken,” the deputy mayor said. 

Kaido Padar, a board member of the city’s public transport company, TLT, said the city has every reason to celebrate the anniversary of the streetcar service, because despite its respectable age, Tallinn Tram is in “excellent shape”.

The Gotha G4 "bendy-tram" operating in Tallinn from 1965 to 1988. Photo by Tallinn's public transport company, TLT.
The Gotha G4 “bendy-tram” operating in Tallinn from 1965 to 1988. Photo by Tallinn’s public transport company, TLT.

The celebration of Tallinn Tram 135 kicked off with a parade of old timers, featuring such rarities as the special tram T-11 from 1936, followed by a horse-drawn tram wagon renovated in 1988 with the TLT brass orchestra onboard. 

The parade also featured the T-4 grinding-brushing streetcar, built in 1951 at the Ilmarine plant in Tallinn, a maneuver tram from 1963, a brushing-grinding tram from 1965, and several other rare beauties. 

At the Kopli depot, which opened its doors at noon, visitors can admire veteran streetcars, as well as trams in service today, both from the inside and outside. 

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