Oktiabr Railroad

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Oktiabr’ Railroad


one of the oldest and largest railroads in the USSR; it consists of the northwestern sections of the railroad network of the European part of the USSR. Headquartered in Leningrad, the Oktiabr’ Railroad is bounded by the Northern Railroad at the Malenga, Koshta (near Cherepovets), and Sonkovo stations; by the Moscow Railroad at the Moskva (Oktiabr’skaia), Savelovo, Shakhovskaia, and Osuga stations; by the Byelorussian Railroad at the Ezerishche and Dretun’ stations; by the Baltic Railroad at the Zilupe, Pytalovo, Pechory-Pskovskie, and Narva stations; and by the Finnish railroads at the Luzhaika, Svetogorsk, and Syväoro stations. In terms of its operational length, 10,026 km, the Oktiabr’ Railroad is second among the 26 railroads of the USSR. Until 1923 it was called the Nikolaevskaia Railroad.

The Oktiabr’ Railroad includes some of the first public railroads in Russia, among them the Leningrad-Pushkin-Pavlovsk section (formerly the Tsarskoe Selo branch; built in 1837) and the two-track Leningrad-Moscow main line, which opened in 1851. By the early 1970’s the Oktiabr’ Railroad consisted of 11 divisions—Murmansk, Kem’, Petrozavodsk, Volkhovstroi, Bologoe, Moscow, Rzhev, Pskov, and three divisions made up of sections adjacent to the Leningrad junction. The Oktiabr’ Railroad stretches from Murmansk in the north to Moscow in the south, a total of more than 2,000 km; more than 900 km is located above the Arctic Circle. The southern part of the railroad has a well-developed network in both the north-south and east-west directions. In the north, the main line runs between Leningrad and Murmansk, with several lines branching off from it.

The Oktiabr’ Railroad connects Moscow and Leningrad and serves the economy and inhabitants of Murmansk Oblast, the Karelian ASSR, and Leningrad, Pskov, and Novgorod oblasts and, in part, Kalinin, Vologda, Moscow, and Yaroslavl oblasts. Freight traffic consists mainly of building materials, timber, ore, chemical and mineral fertilizers, petroleum, and products of Leningrad’s industries. The railroad is of great importance for foreign trade, since it carries freight to the seaports of Leningrad and Murmansk. It also connects to water transportation facilities at a number of ports on the White Sea (Kandalaksha, Kem’, and Belomorsk) and on the White Sea-Baltic Canal.

The freight turnover of the Oktiabr’ Railroad is average for the railroad network of the USSR (4–5 percent of total turnover); however, the railroad ranks second after the Moscow Railroad in passenger turnover. Almost one-fifth of all suburban traffic is carried by the Oktiabr’ Railroad, mainly in the sections adjacent to Leningrad and Moscow. The largest junction is that of Leningrad, where railroad lines converge from five directions. Other large junctions of the Oktiabr’ Railroad are Volkhovstroi, Novosokol’niki, Bologoe, Rzhev, Dno, and Pskov.

Electric traction is used on the Leningrad-Moscow main line, on all suburban sections of the Leningrad junction area, and on the Murmansk-Kandalaksha-Loukhi section. As of 1974, electric traction was also being introduced on other sections with heavy freight traffic, particularly the Murmansk line. As of 1972, electric traction accounted for more than 28 percent of the freight traffic; diesel traction, more than 66 percent; and steam traction, about 5 percent. The use of electric traction for passenger traffic is still higher, totaling about 63 percent in 1972. The fastest passenger express trains in the USSR run on the Leningrad-Moscow main line at speeds of up to 160 km/hr. Second tracks are being added to a number of single-track sections, for example, on the Murmansk line. The Leningrad junction is equipped with one of the first automated hump yards in the USSR (in the Moscow marshaling yard of the Leningrad station). Modern computer technology and automatic control systems for a number of traffic operations have been put into use on the Oktiabr’ Railroad. The railroad was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1966.


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