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Estonians protest against railroad disturbances

  • 2004-10-27
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - Estonian residents have recently expressed discontent over noise and other disturbances caused by railroad transportation. Protesters in Narva and Jogeva have been the most vocal in their opinions.

A group of Jogeva residents signed a protest letter on Oct. 28 to Estonian Railways and the local municipality demanding that the existing open railroad junction be reconstructed into a tunnel to minimize noise. Over 1,400 residents of the central Estonian town have signed the letter, the daily Postimees reported.

Cargo trains at the Jogeva station reportedly block a pedestrian crossing during most of the day, forcing residents to take a detour. Town authorities hope that both the state and Estonian Railways, the country's recently privatized railroad company with 66 percent private capital, will support the proposed tunnel idea.

Meanwhile in Narva, locals have opposed plans to build a new railway junction that can handle longer trains, fearing that the locomotives could increase air and noise pollution. While the state-run railway inspectorate declared the junction construction as legal, the municipality disagrees, claiming the project does not meet the plans slated in the previously approve city development program.

A resident living close to the Narva railroad has filed a complaint to the Prosecutor's Office, asking for an investigation into the railway inspectorate's decision.