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008 - Electric Locomotive No. 8 – “Zittznatobakkfabrikk” (The Citizen Cigarette Works)


Built: 1961

Class/serial no.: Voltaa/VZ687324E

Length: 19m

Weight: 95 tonnes

Power: 900kW

Max speed: 135 kph

Passengers are reminded that for their safety and comfort, this is a no-smoking train. Smoking is not permitted anywhere onboard this train...

During the time of the People’s Semi-autonomous Republic, only one brand of cigarette was available, “Kommaradtobakk”, and one brand of vodka, “Kommaradvotkka”. Everyone smoked. Everybody drank. The products were so named because they were deemed to be the only true friends the people had. Any other comrade you possessed might turn out to be working for the politiika. And even if not, under duress - like the lovers, Viins and Juulitt – they were liable to betray you. Nobody smokes inside the coaches now. It’s forbidden. The original “tankkju, nii rokk!” signs have been left in the compartments and corridors of the train. The citizens are remarkably compliant, a legacy of decades of dictatorship. Those passengers who cannot abandon the old ways must proceed to the open wagons at the rear of the train if they insist upon consuming their “ruusiisktobakk”, where the authorities will turn a vliint ogg to this transgression. And it’s a long walk from there to here. Even so, No. 8 Locomotive is still named after the cigarette factory that stood on the south-eastern outskirts of the city. Both cigarette and locomotive changed from Comrade to Citizen upon the fall of the progresivaa régime. As did we all.

Drinking is another matter. While the problems associated with excess vodka consumption have largely been eradicated, there are numerous bars to be found onboard. Citizens still like their triistnes to be drukkn upon occasion.


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