Võitlus Tartu–Petseri raudtee ümber 1920. aastatel / The struggle for the Tartu–Pechory railway in the 1920s

Kersti Taal
2012 Õpetatud Eesti Seltsi Aastaraamat/Yearbook of the Learned Estonian Society  
The railway first reached Estonia in 1870, when the Tallinn–St. Petersburg line was opened on 24 October. As early as 1849 and 1857, Fr. R. Kreutzwald and J. W. Jannsen had introduced the Estonians to a steam carriage moving on rails. Both men considered railway very important both from the point of view of traffic flow and economy. The railway soon reached the southern part of the Government of Livonia. The Tapa–Tartu railway was completed in 1876, and in 1888, Tartu got a railway connection
more » ... ailway connection with Riga via Valga. People dreamt of a Tallinn–Pskov railway via Pechory as early as the last decades of the 19th century, but the actual construction began only in the late 1920s. As early as 1920, the route of the Tartu–Pechory railway was marked at ground level, but the construction failed to begin due to economic difficulties. Transit to Russia was also considered (Tallinn–Moscow direct line). Early in 1928, people in south-eastern Estonia (Põlva, Kanepi, Kambja, and Räpina parishes) became active in their demands for rail connections. Meetings were arranged, signatures gathered, and petitions sent to the Prime Minister, the government and ministries. In the petitions sent early in the year, the reasons given for the importance of the railway for the region were economic and strategic. The railway was considered so important that each village and small town wanted it to pass them as near to them as possible. The eastern route via Kauksi was supported by the people in Räpina parish, whereas the western route via Põlva was favoured by the people in Põlva parish, as well as, by the communes in Kanepi and Kambja parishes. On 25 May 1928, the Third Estonian Parliament passed the Railway Network Development Act, but it did not fix precisely the middle section of the route. The marking of the route began in June; the engineers who worked on it proposed that the railway should be built along the western route: it would be considerably cheaper (there would be less excavation work), it would pass more densely populated areas, and [...]
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