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Old July 22nd, 2011, 12:24 AM   #1
Tin_Can
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ESTONIA | Railways

First railway built in Estonia: Paldiski-Tallinn-Narva (1870)
Length of railways: ~1200km
First electric railway built in Estonia: Tallinn-Pääsküla (1924)
Length of electrified railways: 131,6km
Track gauge in Estonia: 1520mm
Electric railways power system: 3 kV DC
First narrow gauge railway built in Estonia: Valga-Pärnu (1895-96)
Length of narrow gauge railways: 2km (Lavasaare Museum railway) + few km of Naissaare island ex-military railway

Narrow gauge railway network used to be as extensive as ordinary railway network and in addition to public lines included industrial & military railways. Most main lines were dismantled in 1960-1970. Last remaining industrial lines were dismantled in 1990s.

Mainlines have variable quality - some have been extensively rebuilt (most recently Tartu-Valga line),some still date back to 1920s-1940s,some are badly worn etc. Major work has been done on upgrading railways and by then end of this year all railways should have speeds of 120km/h. It might not seem much,but in some sections speeds were as low as 20-30km/h Work doesn't end there though,as it's planned to raise speeds to 160km/h. Apart from Rail Baltica line there aren't any high speed lines planned in Estonia.



There have been discussions about rebuilding Riisipere-Haapsalu railway line,which was dismantled in early 2000s. Feasibility study found the project economically profitable,but even at fastest organization construction won't start before 2015. It's largely dependant of EU funding.

Link to thread in Estonian forum: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1318267

Another main project is Rail Baltica line - international railway link from Tallinn to Warsaw (and further onward to Berlin) Currently works are going on on upgrading mainline,so trains could run at manageable speeds between Baltic countries. Main Rail Baltica would be 1435mm railway (as opposed to currently used 1520mm track gauge),which would partially be entirely new railway line and partially would follow existing railways. 1435mm Rail Baltica would be electrified railway with max speed of 240km/h (HSR wasn't considered economically feasible) Construction might start in 2020 and railway line could be operational by 2025.

Link to thread in Nordic & Baltic forum: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=320660


And finally,the main thread about Estonian railways in Estonian forum. It's in English,so it should be easy for everyone to follow and has latest up-to-date information: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1389724
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Last edited by Tin_Can; July 22nd, 2011 at 12:30 AM.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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Brief overview of Estonian rolling stock:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin_Can View Post
[IMG]http://i53.************/33numps.jpg[/IMG]

Following trains and locomotives are most common in Estonia:

Locomotives:
ČKD ČME-3 | Used by Eesti Raudtee,Edelaraudtee,Leonhard Weiss RTE (former VolkerRail)
Luhanskteplovoz 2TE116 | Used by Eesti Raudtee
Luhanskteplovoz TEM2 (and it's variants) | Used by harbours,Eesti Energia (mining industry)
Kolomensky Zavod TEP-70 | Used by Go Rail
General Electric GE C36-7 | Used by Eesti Raudtee
General Electric GE C30-7 | In reserve,originally used by Eesti Raudtee
MEV-1 | Used by Elektriraudtee,only electric locomotive in use (locally rebuilt from ER2 passenger train head)

Passenger trains
RVR DR1A | Used by Edelaraudtee
RVR ER2 (and it's upgrades & variants) | Used By Elektriraudtee
RVR ER12 | Used by Elektriraudtee

Future upgrades:
Stadler Flirt (EMU) | 18 electric trains ordered by Elektriraudtee
Stadler Flirt (DMU) | 20 diesel trains ordered by Elektriraudtee
China CNR DF7G-E | 16 shunters ordered by EVR Cargo
20 diesel powered Stadler Flirt's for Estonia will be whole new diesel-electric concept. Until now Stadler Flirts were only available as EMU's.

First Stadler Flirt EMU's will arrive to Estonia for testing in December 2012 and will start operating in 2013 spring. By late 2013 all new EMU's should be operational in Estonia.
First diesel-electric Stadler Flirt's will arrive to Estonia for testing in late 2013 and by the end of 2014 all of them should be operational.
First DF7G-E diesel -electric shunter will arrive to Estonia for testing in first half of 2012. Remaining locomotives will be supplied in second quarter of 2013.
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Last edited by Tin_Can; August 10th, 2011 at 06:35 PM. Reason: added information
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 12:30 AM   #3
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The future - Estonian Stadler Flirt's.









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Old July 22nd, 2011, 12:40 AM   #4
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There are extensive railway upgrades going on in Estonia to prepare infrastructure for new passenger trains. In addition to track & overhead wires upgrades there are ongoing works of rebuilding 100+ stations. All stations will have platforms with standard height of 550mm. Station reconstruction project will end in next year (it started in 2010),but works will continue on last remaining stations which still don't have new standard height platforms.

Typical station in rural area:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin_Can View Post
Here's a brief overview of newly rebuilt station with 550mm platform (around 90 stations will be rebuilt,although that number is increasing) Those new stations come in two variations - with short or long platform (-s) Short platforms are meant for one wagon entry-only. All stations have similar style roofs,lights,signs etc,which you can see here. Main variation comes from different replacement of all those structures on platforms & width of station platforms (some are narrowed than others). Btw,tracks,track switches & sidings located on station territory are usually replaced along with station reconstruction.

Riisipere station in Harju county.

Plaform base is made of concrete.
[IMG]http://i53.************/vsnkw6.jpg[/IMG]

Lampposts. Btw,lower end of those is has place for sitting.
[IMG]http://i53.************/3518xur.jpg[/IMG]

Curved roof is almost as wide as platform. In some places those roofs have been fitted with additional glass screens,this provides slightly more shelter for people. You can see that edges of platforms have safety stripes & rough,granite covered edges (some stations have special stones fitted for guiding blind people)
[IMG]http://i52.************/33tgn6p.jpg[/IMG]

Station names are attached to platform roofs.
[IMG]http://i54.************/20ariiq.jpg[/IMG]

All stations have Eesti Raudte logos on platform roof pillars.
[IMG]http://i51.************/wsureg.jpg[/IMG]

Structures & 'furniture' on station platforms is made of steel. Seating places under roofs & lampposts are covered with layer of rubber,seen here.
[IMG]http://i52.************/eilgmq.jpg[/IMG]

Currently platforms are rather uncomfortable,as RVR trains were meant for lot higher platforms,but in the future those will provide comfortable same level entry to new passenger trains.
[IMG]http://i52.************/2qdmpkx.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i51.************/2z6e68p.jpg[/IMG]

Platforms were designed by architecture bureau Luhse & Tuhal.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 03:35 AM   #5
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IIRC, there was some talk in the Rail Baltica thread about the fate of the ER2s post-FLIRT-delivery.

Have there been any potential takers for the soon-to-be-hand-me-downs?
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 10:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manrush View Post
IIRC, there was some talk in the Rail Baltica thread about the fate of the ER2s post-FLIRT-delivery.

Have there been any potential takers for the soon-to-be-hand-me-downs?
Latvia & Georgia have been mentioned as potential buyers. But if the deal can't be reached,then trains will be scrapped. I hope that railway companies will manage to save atleast one ER-series & one DR-series train for railway museums,as those trains have played quite important role in Estonian passenger traffic for nearly 4 decades.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 12:49 AM   #7
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Since the beginning of this month there are railway reconstruction works going on in Tallinn's central train station (locally called 'Balti jaam' - Baltic station). During the 2 year project railway construction companies will rebuild all tracks and track switches in central train station,move some overhead lines and alter track geometry in order to improve ride quality & train speeds. In addition to that all station platforms will get new lights & roofs and tracks between platforms will be raised to comply with 550mm platform standard.

Track repairs in Tallinn's central train station. (photos taken on yesterday evening) New tracks have been laid on 8th & 9th tracks. Looks like they used some refurbished tracks :-/ I guess it won't matter much,as long as they will grind the tracks and weld them together.

[IMG]http://i53.************/71s11j.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i51.************/r10nz4.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i56.************/eaipzo.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i51.************/2akrc7.jpg[/IMG]

+ bonus pic of ER electric trains & central train station building.
[IMG]http://i51.************/4jrhuo.jpg[/IMG]
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Old July 24th, 2011, 12:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin_Can View Post
Mainlines have variable quality - some have been extensively rebuilt (most recently Tartu-Valga line),some still date back to 1920s-1940s,some are badly worn etc. Major work has been done on upgrading railways and by then end of this year all railways should have speeds of 120km/h.
This is not quite true. Tallinn-Keila-Paldiski and Keila-Riisipere lines are still in a bad shape (max. speed 100km/h, often 60km/h but partially even as low as 40km/h). I know that there are plans for updating the worst parts but I don't have any dates...possibly 2012+.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #9
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Hmm,I think EVR Infra had mentioned somewhere that Western railway lines reconstruction will become priority in upcoming years. I'll see if I can find that reference...

EDIT:
Quote:
Kontaktvõrkude ja veoalajaamade rekonstrueerimine lõikudel Tallinn-Paldiski ja Keila-Vasalemma on tihedalt seotud plaanitava Tallinn-Paldiski ja Keila-Riisipere raudtee rekonstrueerimisega. Koos võimaldavad projektid tõsta rongide sõidukiirust kuni 120 kilomeetrini tunnis.
Kontaktvõrgu rekonstrueerimisega tehakse algust juba sel sügisel ning töö lõpetatakse 2012. aasta lõpuks.
Korrastatud kontaktvõrk ja kiirem raudtee aitab suurendada ühistranspordi populaarsust ning edendab rööbastransporti, mis on keskkonnasõbralikum võrreldes autotranspordiga.
Quote:
Tallinna-Paldiski ja Keila-Riisipere raudtee rekonstrueerimise eeldatav maksumus on 250 miljonit krooni. Hetkel on nimetatud lõikudel sõidukiirust piiratud kohati kuni 40 kilomeetrini tunnis. Pärast rekonstrueerimist tõuseb kiirus lõikudel kuni 120 kilomeetrini tunnis. Rekonstrueerimise tagajärjel suureneb oluliselt reisijamugavus ja –kiirus ning koos veeremi uuendamisega ka ühistranspordi atraktiivsus.
So,in addition to new overhead wires construction,reconstruction of railway tracks should probably start in 2012 or 2013.

Btw,just think how much it will mess up train schedules! It would be more profitable for Elektriraudtee to run buses in next year...
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Old July 25th, 2011, 08:55 PM   #10
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It's really good to see that Estonia is upgrading. And with new trains, and plans for constructing with the European standard gauge, i believe this would be a huge success, both for passengers, but probably also for the country industry! Is there any drawings or graphics of this new Baltic Line you where talking about, Tin_Can?
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Old July 25th, 2011, 09:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alseimik View Post
It's really good to see that Estonia is upgrading. And with new trains, and plans for constructing with the European standard gauge, i believe this would be a huge success, both for passengers, but probably also for the country industry! Is there any drawings or graphics of this new Baltic Line you where talking about, Tin_Can?
The greatest problem with all that shiny standard-gauge projects - they won't bring money to Estonian budget. The main profit of Es. railways is 1520 cargo. So any available funds are likely to be invested into 1520 network.

So unless EU will come with a big bag of money and say "build the damn standard gauge, we will cover, like, 90% of cost" - no standard gauge will be build.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 01:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alseimik View Post
It's really good to see that Estonia is upgrading. And with new trains, and plans for constructing with the European standard gauge, i believe this would be a huge success, both for passengers, but probably also for the country industry! Is there any drawings or graphics of this new Baltic Line you where talking about, Tin_Can?
Yeah,feasibility study showed that Rail Baltica would be profitable and would provide considerable boost to industries in region.

Few more details about it (mostly about Estonian half of Rail Baltica):

Entire line from Estonia to Polish-Lithuanian border would be 728km long electrified double track railway with top speed of 240km/h. Of that,229km will be located in Estonia. In Estonia,Rail Baltica would have three passenger stations - two in Tallinn and one in Pärnu. Stations are Tallinn's central train station (Northernmost end of route until smth gets fixed up with Finland - most likely railway ferries),Ülemiste station in Tallinn (allows access to/from Tallinn's airport) and Pärnu passenger station. Estonian section service depot will be located in small town of Rapla. Cost of Estonian section of Rail Baltica would be 1,043 billion euros (total cost of project is 3,5 billion euros,but it's divided between Estonia,Latvia & Lithuania) During construction,Rail Baltica Estonian section would provide jobs to ~3200 people and once it's built ~400 people will work on it in Estonia (from ordinary maintenance job to management etc)

Variety of 1435mm Rail Baltica maps:

[IMG]http://i55.************/2wnbn2d.jpg[/IMG]

Red route is the planned 1435mm railway. Others were possible routes considered in Rail Baltica feasibility study.
[IMG]http://i52.************/332roea.jpg[/IMG]

Estimates travel times for passenger trains:
[IMG]http://i55.************/24c6yz4.jpg[/IMG]

Quote:
Originally Posted by XAN_ View Post
The greatest problem with all that shiny standard-gauge projects - they won't bring money to Estonian budget. The main profit of Es. railways is 1520 cargo. So any available funds are likely to be invested into 1520 network.

So unless EU will come with a big bag of money and say "build the damn standard gauge, we will cover, like, 90% of cost" - no standard gauge will be build.
I disagree. Such mentality was quite common railway management decade ago (I don't even dare to think how much we lost because of such thinking),but thankfully now it's all history. Politicians and railway companies have shown quite promising signs that 1435mm railway link to Central Europe is priority and are working for it. Sure,freight traffic on 1520mm railway is important and would not go anywhere,but Rail Baltica expands possibilities for freight traffic. Basically,right now everything is either shipped by sea or hauled by trucks on North<>South direction,but in the future railway would provide very healthy alternative (especially when EU manages to enforce more eco-friendly ship fuels - this would in turn raise sea cargo prices and companies would switch to cheaper railways)
EU funding depends largely on member states and how well they can 'market' their projects. I'd say (considering current EU funded railway projects) that up to 50% of co-funding by EU is quite possible. And considering that even by most sceptical assessments 1435mm gauge Rail Baltica would double investments made in it (direct profits,benefits to companies,new industries etc),then it sound very reasonable project.

I think the most important thing are not the jobs,not the railway line to Central Europe or good passenger trains service to Poland and beyond... Nope,most important thing is the change it brings to overall thinking,especially about passenger trains service. Just look at the maps and it's clear how radical the change is. Right now it's all plain,simple passenger train service - you get on a train and it takes you where you need to go. Downside of that is it's slow service (trains stop everywhere and even 'Express' trains are slow) and sparse schedule.
With new 1435mm Rail Baltica line becoming the central artery in Baltics,things would change - now there would be 1520mm gauge feeder lines (basically this concept is pretty much unknown here right now ),more denser schedule (already stated by Estonian railway companies,that they plan to used more passenger trains more often once all necessary upgrades have been made) and hopefully,faster service. This in turn affects passenger numbers and is positive change.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 12:12 AM   #13
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you speak wisely tin_can, I agree with your thinking. Is there any concerns about the train schedule right now? I believed that it would be useful to cargo, but with speeds at 240 km/h and that few stations (which is great for passengers) i would imagine that all cargo would be needed to be at ~180-200 km/h and very long trains to make space for the HST for passengers. Or could one imagine some sort of waiting track/fast track? You know anything about that?

btw, great map! And, it think its funny, that between Denmark and Germany, the fastest direct rail from Copenhagen and Hamburg/Berlin needs to cross the sea by ferry, and this line is operated by Danish, German rented HST, i believe it's the only place in the world a HST boards a ferry. But we're building a tunnel there (which is wonderful) and you'll start a ferry to Finland for your HSR, to cover the lose
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Old July 27th, 2011, 09:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alseimik View Post
you speak wisely tin_can, I agree with your thinking. Is there any concerns about the train schedule right now? I believed that it would be useful to cargo, but with speeds at 240 km/h and that few stations (which is great for passengers) i would imagine that all cargo would be needed to be at ~180-200 km/h and very long trains to make space for the HST for passengers. Or could one imagine some sort of waiting track/fast track? You know anything about that?

btw, great map! And, it think its funny, that between Denmark and Germany, the fastest direct rail from Copenhagen and Hamburg/Berlin needs to cross the sea by ferry, and this line is operated by Danish, German rented HST, i believe it's the only place in the world a HST boards a ferry. But we're building a tunnel there (which is wonderful) and you'll start a ferry to Finland for your HSR, to cover the lose
Track usage is planned so passenger trains would run 6.00-24.00,with 2h intervals. Nights would be reserved for freight trains,to provide uninterrupted passenger train service during daytime. Considering that trains are limited to be >750m long and have max.axle load of 25t,it probably means very high frequency for freight trains.

I did a bit of esearch and found out that Finns already have train ferries in use - Estonian company TallinkSilja operates daily ferries between Turku,Finland and Stockholm,Sweden (previously,before Tallink takeover company was known as SeaRail and later Sea Wind Lines) Maybe there's a chance that in the future those ferries would serve Helsinki-Tallinn route?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 02:16 PM   #15
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Maybe there's a chance that in the future those ferries would serve Helsinki-Tallinn route?
I don't think train ferries will be that useful along this route. As the ferry goes direct from Tallinn to Helsinki there is little point in carrying a train across the sea for the few km to central Helsinki. The current ferries are very popular with locals of both cities. In comparison the crossing on the route to Copenhagen is a long distance from any city on either side so it makes loading the train convenient. Also Finland has a different gauge, that train offloads cargo onto a short standard gauge section in Turku for transfer onto Finnish gauge. This short section is refered to as 'little Sweden'.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #16
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Was Eesti Raudtee owned by Wisconsin Central in the not-too-distant past? The paint scheme looks like what was used on former WC properties (such as the English Welsh Scottish Railway--or EWS--over in Britain).
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:39 PM   #17
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Was Eesti Raudtee owned by Wisconsin Central in the not-too-distant past? The paint scheme looks like what was used on former WC properties (such as the English Welsh Scottish Railway--or EWS--over in Britain).
Not directly,even though WC CEO (at that time) Edward A. Burkhardt was also CEO of Rail world Inc.,a 25,5% shareholder of Baltic Rail Service (other BRS shareholders were - Ganiger Invest OÜ (44%),Jarvis PLC (25,5%) & RDC (5%)). In turn,BRS was Eesti Raudtee (EVR) shareholder (66%,the rest was owned by Estonian state)

Burkhardt did broker a deal for old General Electric dash-7 locomotives from Missouri Pacific,Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern,so I guess he had a big influence about the way things were run and probably managed to "persuade" to use WC paint scheme.

Btw,ironically,at that time they had to choose between 3 locomotive offers: 2 for brand new locomotives and 1 for old GE locomotives. Greed won and they opted for cheapest alternative,which at that time was refurbishing & hauling ~80 old locomotives across the globe and using them on tracks,which weren't exactly meant for these locomotives - especially weight-wise

Anyway,after government bought out BRS shares,EVR got stuck with those old locomotives and will continue using them until they wear out (it's hard to find buyers for so old locomotives). C30's are already in reserve and will be sold or scrapped soon.
EVR has procurement in process for new shunters and sketchy details,which have leaked out,suggest that those shunters are also aimed for light/medium freight hauling,meaning that atleast some C36's also have dark future ahead...
Maybe we'll even see new paint scheme for EVR within next few years.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 01:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin_Can View Post
Btw,ironically,at that time they had to choose between 3 locomotive offers: 2 for brand new locomotives and 1 for old GE locomotives.
Do you know what were the 2 brand new locomotive offers?
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Old July 28th, 2011, 02:20 AM   #19
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Do you know what were the 2 brand new locomotive offers?
Sry,can't remember exact models (I heard about it long time ago),but afaik,new locomotives were also US made.

Btw,interesting thing about the EVR future - service life for C36 locomotives should end around 2015-2020,considering that they were refurbished in early 2000s and according to EVR, C30's & C36's service life was expected to be >20 years. So,we don't have to wait very long to see new locomotives and this time I'm pretty sure that these will be European made (*looks jealously at Lithuanian railways* )
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:11 AM   #20
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A few photos of the brand new Koidula border station:





The passenger platforms which are not yet in use. Local passenger trains will start running to Koidula station in September. There's also a possibility that Riga - St.Petersburg train will start using this station in the future since the route through Estonia is shorter than the current one.




The station building.



Last edited by Rebasepoiss; July 30th, 2011 at 12:21 AM.
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