Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM)

Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) is one of the longest railways in the world.

Baikal-Amur Mainline runs through the embankments, bogs, permafrost, taiga, and mountains.

  1. The length of BAM from the station “Tayshet” to the station “Sovetskaya Gavan” is 4287 km.
  2. “Tayshet” in the language of Cotto means “cold water.”
  3. The Baikal-Amur Mainline is not a Trans-Siberian Railway. BAM branches off from the Trans-Siberian Railway and passes to the north of it.
  4. During the development of BAM, the USSR had a strained relationship with China. Because of this, BAM was laid out as far as possible to the north, in contrast to the Trans-Siberian Railway, some sections of which are very close to the border with China.
  5. BAM construction was the most expensive project in the Soviet era.
  6. Near the final station of BAM “Sovetskaya Gavan,” on the banks of the Tatar Strait during the reign of Stalin, work began on constructing a tunnel under the strait to the island of Sakhalin, but it was discontinued after the death of the Soviet leader.
  7. Today, the project of the Sakhalin tunnel is under active consideration. The tunnel may become the link that will provide a direct channel for goods from Japan to Europe using the shortest route.
  8. In the first half of the 19thcentury in the Russian Empire there were projects of transport development of Trans-Baikal and the Amur Region.
  9. In 1930 a promising railroad for the first time in the USSR was called the Baikal-Amur Mainline.
  10. In 1972, the construction of BAM began.
  11. BAM construction was carried out from two opposite directions – east and west.
  12. In 1984, at the junction of Balbuhta met the east and the west directions of BAM builders. 12 years of construction culminated with the opening of the entire road of the Baikal-Amur Mainline.
  13. Baikal-Amur Mainline includes about 2,000 bridges.
  14. Severo-Muisk tunnel that passes under the Severo-Muisk ridge was opened only in 2003. This is the longest tunnel in Russia – 15,343 m.
  15. Earthquakes up to 9-10 points on a relative scale. Permafrost in the areas at the beginning and the end of the tunnel, areas with unstable rocks with many cracks. But the most difficult are the zones of active faults in width from 5 to 900 meters with the inflow of water from them to several hundred cubic meters per hour at a pressure of 34 atm., and quicksand found in granite. Also, high concentration of the radioactive gas radon. Such complex of difficulties is not found anywhere else in the world.
  16. In order to maintain the microclimate in the Seveo-Muisk tunnel, on both of its entrances there were installed special gates that are opened only for the passage of trains. Nevertheless, in the winter in the tunnel you will find giant icicles that have to be constantly removed.
  17. BAM was claimed to become a heavy-duty railway, but in reality the Baikal-Amur Mainline serviced less than 8 pairs of trains per day.
  18. There is a hypothesis, according to which the super-project BAM was approved at the same time with another super-project – the development of Military railway missile complexes, which were transported using ordinary trains. Ballistic missiles of a military complex only on one train can reach targets at a distance of 10 000 km and produce a series of nuclear explosions equivalent to 1,000 nuclear explosions in Hiroshima. These complexes today are on combat alert, which means that they travel on the railways of Russia, including the BAM.
  19. BAM was the most romantic construction site of the Soviet period; it was attended by several thousand students that became attracted by a romantic Construction of the century: “Our hearts…”
  20. During the construction of BAM there have been written a lot of songs, and even a festival of BAM songs was held.
  21. In the construction of the BAM railway troops also participated.
  22. Today, there are plans to transfer all cargo traffic from the Trans-Siberian Railway to the Baikal-Amur Mainline. Thus, the Trans-Siberian Railway will only service passenger and container traffic.

Development plans for BAM assume major upgrade of the railway – in the vicinity of the railway you can find major production sites.


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