On 27 November, Tapa depot introduced the replica armoured train No 7, called Wabadus.
Negotiations with the Estonian War Museum on making a replica armoured train began in the spring of 2017. The project preparations took 12 months. “On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Estonian War of Independence, the contracting entity wanted to build an authentic replica of an armoured train consisting of a hospital wagon, an infantry machine gun wagon, an assault wagon and an artillery wagon,” explained Rain Johanson, Director of the Repairs Business Unit at Operail.
Thanks to meticulous preparations, the four-wagon train was built in only two and a half months. “Despite its historical purpose, the train is a railway vehicle operated on the public infrastructure; therefore, it must meet the high safety standards,” said Mr Johanson. “As of today, all four wagons have successfully undergone technical inspection and have been brought into conformity with the modern railway requirements applicable in the Republic of Estonia. The maximum permitted speed for the train is 40 km/h.”
In describing the process of building the train, Johanson explained that the main sources used to achieve the authentic look were archive photos and the knowledge of experts from the Estonian War Museum. “The materials and structural solutions were selected based on the expertise and experiences of professionals from the Estonian War Museum and from Tapa depot,” added Johanson. “Our metal workers and welders also played a major role – their valuable advice and suggestions were very helpful in achieving the best result.”
“The replica armoured train gives us an idea of what kinds of weapons were used by our forefathers in fighting for their freedom,” said Hellar Lill, Director of the War Museum. “The replica train is complemented by an exhibition introducing the course of the War of Independence and armoured trains. From January next year, the exhibition will travel in the train across Estonia to retrace the historic route of battles,” added Lill.
Armoured train No 7, called Wabadus (´freedom´ in Estonian), was built in collaboration between the Estonia 100 Organising Committee, the Estonian War Museum and Operail. The movement of the armoured train and an armoured vehicle along the Freedom Route is supported by Eesti Raudtee, the Estonian Defence League and local governments.
Wabadus will make stops on the Freedom Route at the following stations in January 2019:
• 4-5 Jan 2019 – Kehra
• 6 Jan 2019 – Lahinguvälja
• 7-8 Jan 2019 – Aegviidu
• 9-10 Jan 2019 – Tapa
• 11-12 Jan 2019 – Jõgeva
• 13 Jan 2019 – Kaarepere
• 14-16 Jan 2019 – Tartu
• 17-24 Jan 2019 – Elva
• 25-27 Jan 2019 – Puka
• 28-31 Jan 2019 – Sangaste
• 1 Feb 2019 – Valga
More information: https://www.ev100.ee/et/wabaduse-teekond