28 November 2011

The Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) - 1.

The Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM). We are coming! (1974)
Baikali-Amuuri Magistraal. Saabumine BAM-ile.
Байкало-Амурская Магистраль. Прибытие на БАМ.

The Beginning. (1974).
Ehituse algus.
Начало строительства.

Postcards, 1976.
From the set "BAM - the track of courage and heroism".

My collection.

* The Baikal-Amur Mainline (Baikalo-Amurskaya Magistral, BAM) is a 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5⁄6 in) broad gauge railway line in Russia. Traversing Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East, the 4,324 km (2,687 mi) long BAM runs about 610 to 770 km (380 to 480 miles) north of and parallel to the Trans-Siberian railway.

The railway was built primarily for military reasons as a backup to the Trans-Siberian, which runs quite close to the Chinese border. The first stage, from 1930 to 1953, was built largely by Gulag prisoners, including German and Japanese prisoners of war, and an estimated 150,000 people died in the process. Work halted due to Stalin's death, but started again in 1974 as a Komsomol project, this time "with clean hands only" (in Brezhnev's words). The line was officially completed in 1984, although actual work continued until 1991.

The BAM's costs were estimated at $14 billion, and it was built with special, durable tracks since much of it was built over permafrost. BAM was a huge Soviet project, and workers from all parts of the Soviet Union were brought to construct it. While traveling on the train pay attention to station buildings. Often they symbolize (in their architecture) the region from where the building crew came. - Wikipedia, Wikitravel.

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