Connecting Ülemiste passenger terminal with Old City Harbour in Tallinn – study results revealed

Download: Final report

Download: Tramway Option Scheme

In February 2018, the joint venture coordinating the Rail Baltica Global Project RB Rail AS, and the French consultancy firm Egis Rail SA, signed an agreement to carry out the study to improve connectivity between Old City Harbour in Tallinn and the planned Rail Baltica Ülemiste passenger terminal. The aim of the study was to develop the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in the North Sea-Baltic corridor and was co-financed under the Rail Baltica project by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

Several parties were involved in the study, among them the Tallinn City Planning Board, Port of Tallinn and experts from RB Rail AS. “In the case of large infrastructure projects such as Rail Baltica, it is important to involve all the parties already in the planning phase. Bringing together different experts of the field will help to achieve the best results. The end goal is to make the local infrastructure in Tallinn more convenient for both Estonian residents and tourists,” says Karmo Kõrvek, Project Expert of the commissioned study.

Three options were considered in the study, leading to the most effective solution. “Based on the technical and economic aspects and taking into account usability, speed, size of investments, maintenance costs and other accompanying aspects, the most effective option was to expand and operate the existing Tallinn tram network,” says Kõrvek.

According to Andrei Novikov, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, connecting different transport hubs – Tallinn Airport, Ülemiste passenger terminal and Port of Tallinn – is an important step both locally and internationally. “The feasibility analysis presents the most effective solution in adding more options to the existing tramway network. The aim of it is to take into account the infrastructure that we already have today and develop it further,” explains Novikov.

Valdo Kalm, Port of Tallinn CEO and Chairperson of the Management Board supports the decision to extend the tramway line up to the harbour. “More than 10 million people visit the Old City Harbour annually who wish to travel to the city centre conveniently. A new tramway line also creates more possibilities for tourism to flourish,” adds Kalm.

The extension of the tramway is good news for the passengers travelling via sea transport. The location of the new tram stop is planned to be within 200 m of the port terminals’ doors. “Connecting Old City Harbour with the city centre is also an important factor in developing the urban environment and creating a more pedestrian friendly city space,” elaborates Kalm.

According to Kadri Simson, Estonia’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, the establishment of such a connection will help to develop environmentally friendly transport solutions and mobility within the city of Tallinn. “Rail Baltica is not just about building a railway, but the project can also create more infrastructure options regionally. The Tallinn City Government will have to discuss all the options how to implement the extended tramway line. But already today, we have secured resources within the Rail Baltica Global Project to start planning the preliminary design of the tramline extension,” said the Minister.

Final report The estimated cost of the project is about € 26 million. The implementation will depend on Tallinn’s City planning but according to the analysis, the new tramway corridor could be opened at the end of 2023.