The tram stops of Kopli

The Kopli tram line of Tallinn was first constructed over a hundred years ago to transport workers from the city centre to factories on the industrial Kopli peninsula. Initially powered by steam, the trams were sporadically upgraded throughout the twentieth century, just as life in Kopli gradually changed.

Today, with a total distance of five kilometres and running every few minutes at peak times, the line still provides a vital transport link for those who live or work in the area. For some, the trams have become an important symbol of Kopli and even a source of civic pride.

These photographs, exhibited this month as part of Urbiquity’s Urban Lab and the Tallinn Architecture Biennale, offer snapshots of everyday life at Kopli’s tram stops – thirteen in total, running from Balti Jaam train station to the line’s terminus, where trams turn back towards Tallinn’s city centre. As well as the stops themselves, the photographs reveal the different built environments surrounding them and the people who briefly linger, perhaps reading a newspaper or enjoying a moment of introspection, as they await the arrival of the next tram to take them to their destination.

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