Eastern Siberian Railroad

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Eastern Siberian Railroad


established within its present limits in May 1961 on the basis of the Krasnoiarsk and Eastern Siberian railroads; the administration is located in Irkutsk. The railroad lies mainly in the territory of Krasnoiarsk Krai, Irkutsk Oblast, the Buriat ASSR, and partly in Kemerovo and Chita oblasts. It is connected with the Western Siberian Railroad (Mezhdurechensk and Mariinsk stations) and the Transbaikal Railroad (Petrovskii Zavod station). In the south the Eastern Siberian Railroad extends as far as the state border between the USSR and the Mongolian People’s Republic (Naushki station). The length of track in use in the present Eastern Siberian railroad system (in 1970) totals 5,312 km (3.9 percent of the length of the entire railway system in the USSR). The road connects the regions of Eastern Siberia, Transbaikalia, and the Far East with the rest of the country’s railway system. The Eastern Siberian Railroad serves the major industrial regions for the mining of iron ore and coal, petroleum refining, logging and lumber working, power-engineering and chemical-industry plants, and plants in the machine-building, machine-tool, and nonferrous metallurgy industries. The Eastern Siberian Railroad also provides service to grain-producing agricultural regions and extensively developed livestock-breeding areas. The major freight shipping and receiving points are located at Cheremkhovo, Adadym, Zaozernaia, Korshunikha, Kitoi, Bazaikha, Sukhovskaia, Enisei, Irkutsk, Krasnoiarsk, Ulan-Ude, Lena, Bratsk, Achinsk, and Abakan.

The main line of the Eastern Siberian Railroad, which connected Mariinsk and Petrovskii Zavod (and later became part of the Trans-Siberian trunk line), was built between 1898 and 1905. Two lines that were constructed in Eastern Siberia under Soviet power are the Achinsk-Abakan line (1926), which tied the railway system to the Minusinsk coal basin, the Abakan ore deposit, and well-developed agricultural regions, and the Zaudinskii-Naushki line (1940), which connected the railway systems of the USSR and the Mongolian People’s Republic and provided access to the Gusinoe Lake coal deposits. The important Taishet-Bratsk-Lena railroad line was built in 1958 to serve the Bratsk power-industry complex, the Korshunovo iron-ore deposit, and the rich lumbering regions. In 1959 the Abakan-Mezhdurechensk line (and farther to Novokuznetsk), with a spur from Askiz to Abaza, was placed in operation, followed in 1965 by one of the largest new construction projects in the seven-year-plan—the Taishet-Abakan line (647 km), which created a new outlet from the regions of Eastern Siberia to the Kuznetsk coal fields, Kazakhstan, and Middle Asia. The Achinsk-Maklakovo (Abalakovo) line (1967) serves new lumbering regions. The Reshoty-Boguchany and Khrebtovaia-Ust’-Ilim railway lines were under construction in 1971. Connections with river transport facilities are made at Krasnoiarsk, Makar’evo, Maklakovo, Bratsk, Lena, Ulan-Ude, and Irkutsk.

The Eastern Siberian Railroad ranks first in freight volume. In 1969 the freight turnover on the Eastern Siberian Railroad amounted to 138 billion ton-kilometers (5.8 percent of the freight traffic network). More than 90 percent of the freight is hauled by electric locomotives, and the rest by diesels. The total freight traffic volume consists of 15 percent transit, 12 percent imports, 34 percent exports, and 39 percent local distribution. Ferrous metals, oil, grains, foods, chemicals, machine-building products, and light-industry products constitute the largest share of transit freight. Imports include metals, building materials, and petroleum, machine-building, light-industry, and food-industry products, including some grains. Exports consist of lumber, oil, iron ore, coal, and wood-chemical products. Products carried for local distribution include mainly construction materials, coal, lumber, and petroleum and agricultural products. The railroad’s freight traffic density is approximately 1.5 times greater than the national network’s average density.

The railroad’s total passenger traffic in 1969 was 7.8 billion passenger-kilometers (3 percent of the network).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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