Estonia is a small country, which for a long time even after it regained its independence suffered from its Soviet past. Especially the railroad network developed under Russian rule. Tracks are 1520 mm Russian broad gauge and they were in remarkably bad shape for a long time. Passenger traffic is still not well developed, although now lately due to EU's financial aid modern DMUs and EMUs have replaced the old Soviet era trains. Transit traffic to and from Russia is still very important and cargo traffic has in many sense priority over passenger trains.

This picture is a monument from the Soviet past. The class L was the largest Soviet steam locomotive used in Estonia. They were built by the Kolomna locomotive works 1945-55. A huge total number of 5200 locomotives were built. Maximum speed was 85 km/h. What was good about it was that its weight per axle was only 18 tons, allowing it to operate even on poor quality tracks. The last ones were taken out of service in 1975. Picture at Tallinn Balti jaam station 28.6.2012 by Ilkka Siissalo.

FUNET railway pictures archive - Estonia

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This is the newest thing in Estonian passenger rail traffic, a Swiss Stadler built diesel multiple unit if the train family "FLIRT", a diesel variant for broad gauge. Picture in the Estonian countryside between the stations of Pärnu and Pärnu Kauba. During Soviet times this was a military installation area used for loading tanks and military cars onto trains.

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