Gorky Railroad

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gorky Railroad


a railroad formed in May 1961, with its administration in the city of Gorky.

The Gorky Railroad runs primarily through Vladimir, Gorky, and Kirov oblasts and the Tatar, Udmurt, Mari, and Chuvash ASSR’s; sections of the railroad are also found in Perm’, Sverdlovsk, and Riazan’ oblasts and the Mordvinian and Bashkir ASSR’s. It connects with the Moscow Railroad at Petushki and Cherusti stations, with the Severnaia Railroad at Novki, Svecha, and Susolovka stations, with the Kuibyshev Railroad at Krasnyi Uzel and Tsil’na stations, and with the Sverdlovsk Railroad at Cheptsa and Druzhinino stations. The operational length of the Gorky Railroad within its present-day boundaries (1970) is 5,497 km, 4.1 percent of the length of the entire railroad network of the USSR. The Gorky Railroad connects the European part of the country with the Urals, Siberia, and the eastern regions and joins the regions of the European North and Northwest with the Volga Region and the Caucasus.

Certain sections of the Gorky Railroad are among the oldest in the country’s network. For example, the Moscow (Petushki)-Gorky line was constructed in 1861 and 1862, the Murom-Kovrov section was built in 1880, the Kirov-Cheptsa (subsequently extended to Perm’) and Kirov-Kotlas (Susolovka) lines were built in 1899, and the Krasnyi Uzel-Kanash-Zelenyi Dol-Kazan line was constructed in 1893 and 1894. In 1906 the Vologda (Svecha)-Kotel’nich-Kirov main line was put into operation; it created a direct rail connection from the central and northwestern regions to the Urals. Beginning in the first years of Soviet power new railroad construction was carried out in the Volga Region, including the area served by the Gorky Railroad. In 1918 the Arzamas-Kanash line was put into operation; it created the shortest rail connection between Moscow and Kazan. Also built at this time was the Agryz-Izhevsk-Votkinsk line. Completion of construction on the Kazan-Agryz-Druzhinino-Sverdlovsk main line (1924) opened up a second passageway between European Russia and the Urals, as well as into the regions of Siberia and the Soviet Far East. In 1927 the completion of the Gorky-Kotel’nich section created one more link from the Central Zone to the Urals (Moscow-Gorky-Kirov-Perm’-Sverdlovsk); a rail connection was established between Ioshkar-Ola, the capital of the Mari ASSR, and Zelenyi Dol. In order to gain access to tracts of abundant forest and to phosphate-rock deposits, the Iar-Fosforitnaia line was completed in 1940, at the same time as the line connecting Cheboksary, the capital of the Chuvash ASSR, with the Kanash station. By putting the Izhevsk-Igra section (1945) and the Piban’shur-Igra section (1947) into operation, two lines were connected: Kazan-Sverdlovsk and Kirov-Perm ’ -Sverdlov sk.

The Gorky Railroad serves major industrial regions refining oil and producing motor vehicles, machinery, machine tools, ships, electric power, chemical products, and precision machines, in addition to regions of lumbering and wood processing, sources of building materials and peat, and agricultural regions in which grain and flax are produced and livestock breeding has been developed. In 1969 the freight turnover of the Gorky Railroad amounted to 117 billion ton-km, or 4.9 percent of the entire system’s. More than 96 percent of the railroad’s freight turnover is serviced by electric and diesel traction. Transit goods account for 35 percent of all freight circulation, imports for 25 percent, exports for 21 percent, and local traffic for 18 percent. The transit goods are mostly coal, lumber, ferrous metals, ore, petroleum, machine-building products, and grain freight. Incoming shipments include coal, metals, building materials, and specific types of petroleum products, as well as products of light industry and food processing. Exports consist of lumber, motor vehicles, petroleum, and products of machine building. Local traffic hauls are primarily construction freight, peat, sawn lumber, and agricultural goods. The average freight density on the Gorky Railroad is approximately 20 million ton-km/km, which is 1.3 times greater than that of the entire network. The important points for shipping and receiving freight on the Gorky Railroad are Zeletsino, Verkhnekamskaia, Chernushka, Kazan, Gorky, Navashino, Igumnovo, Kirov, Izhevsk, Vladimir, and Balakhna. The Gorky Railroad coordinates its operations with those of river transport. The most important points of transshipment are Gorky, Kazan, Kotel’nich, Kambarka, Sarapul, and Saigatka, and their principal freight consists of coal, grain, ore, building materials, and lumber.

The total passenger turnover of the Gorky Railroad is about 10 percent of that of the total network. In 1969 some 115 million passengers were carried on this railroad, and of these 100 million traveled on suburban transportation. Trains from Moscow and Leningrad bound for the Urals, Siberia, and the Soviet Far East pass over the rails of the Gorky Railroad.


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