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Ian Frazier

Date set for completion of the great new Siberian railway

By The Siberian Times Reporter
21 April 2015

After a series of delays, Prime Minister orders the line to Russia’s diamond capital Yakutsk to be ready for the first passengers by July.

Prime Minister has ordered that construction work is finished by July 1. Picture: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has laid down a deadline for the completion of track that would create an extension to the famous Trans-Siberian Railway.

It had been hoped a link connecting the route, and its northerly cousin the Baikal Amur Mainline, to the city of Yakutsk in the Far East would have been finished in 2012.

The first cargo train did travel from Tommot to Nizhny Bestyajh, a station across the Lena River from Yakutsk, on August 30 last year but as yet the line is still not in full use. Indeed, only 90 per cent of it is ready.

Now the Prime Minister has ordered that construction work is finished by July 1. The announcement came following a meeting in Khabarovsk in which the project was discussed as part of overall plans for the social and economic development of the Far East.

Russia’s Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Finance and the government of Yakutia – also known as the Sakha Republic – were ordered to ensure adequate funding is in place.

The infrastructure was supposed to have been completed by 2012 but the general contractor, Transstroy Engineering Corporation, rescheduled the launch several times.

Introducing the great new Siberian railway, opening soon


Introducing the great new Siberian railway, opening soon


Introducing the great new Siberian railway, opening soon

The first cargo train did travel from Tommot to Nizhny Bestyajh, a station across the Lena River from Yakutsk, on August 30 last year but as yet the line is still not in full use. Pictures: Yegor Borisov, Apsat

Transstroy is one of the oldest Russian companies operating in infrastructure construction, having been created by then Minister for Transport Construction Vladimir Brezhnev in 1991. But the company has debts of about 300 million roubles, with almost 86 million roubles still to be paid to subcontractors.

Nevertheless Yakutia’s leader Egor Borisov has also insisted on the project being finished this year, and ordered the Ministry of Finance to consider an amendment to the federal budgets for 2015 to 2017.

Ultimately the new 1,239 (770 mile) rail link will connect the famous Trans-Siberian route to Yakutsk. It will actually reach the opposite side of the Lena River with a mega 3km bridge connecting the new railway station with the city itself.

The route presents a major new tourist attraction for rail explorers from around the world, and for Russians themselves.

Called AYAM - the north-south Amur-Yakutian Mainline (BAM) - the line has links for travellers either coming from the east or west on the Trans-Siberian and also the Baikal Amur Mainline. At its most southerly point, is the station of Bamovskaya station on the Trans-Siberian line, in the west of Amur region, some 32 km north-west of Skovorodino station.

From here the mainline goes north, joining the Baikal-Amur Mainline at Tynda station. It then proceeds and goes along the BAM for about 27 km, before heading northwards. 

Currently passenger traffic operates from Tynda to the town of Tommot, located on the Aldan River, with population of more than 8,000 people. Tommot is some 390 km (240 miles) southwest of Yakutsk and 70 km (43 miles) southwest of Aldan.

This part of the route has been in operation for passengers for a decade, and for freight since 1997, but the excitement is in the link though some of Russia's remotest territory to the outskirts of Yakutsk, diamond capital of Russia. 

It is said that the Amur-Yakutsk Mainline has become the largest and most complex project in the field of railway construction in Russia for the last 30 years. 

Comments (4)

I am very anxious to travel this new line later in 2015 or 2016.
Michael Robb, Omaha, Nebraska (USA)
07/07/2015 12:15
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When the segment Tommot - Nizhny Bestyakh will be ready for passengers traffic? When in July/August 2015? Can't wait to ride on this new route.
Francesco, Italy
06/05/2015 17:49
4
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I'd like to travel by train in Yakutsk!
Zeljko, Azanja,Serbia
22/04/2015 13:28
4
0
It will be complementary to the Lena river as a waterway and the road already built.
Enrique, Spain
21/04/2015 17:09
1
1
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