Southern Urals Railroad

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Southern Urals Railroad


a system formed by the railroad lines of Cheliabinsk and Orenburg oblasts, RSFSR, and by sections of lines in Kuibyshev Oblast, RSFSR; in the Bashkir ASSR; and in Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast, Kazakh SSR. In 1976 the length of the railroad was 4,751 km, or 3.4 percent of the length of the entire railroad network of the USSR. The railroad is administered from Cheliabinsk. It was organized in its present form in 1961.

The first lines to be built were Kinel’-Orenburg (1877), Kropachevo-Cheliabinsk-Isil’kur (1890–96), Sverdlovsk (Ekaterinburg [Polevskoi])-Cheliabinsk (1896), Orenburg-Iletsk (1905), Poletaevo-Troitsk (1912), and Mikhailovskii Zavod-Berdiaush (1916). Lines built during the period of Soviet power include Orenburg-Orsk (1918), Orsk-Zolotaia Sopka (1930), Kartaly-Magnitogorsk (1930), Cheliabinsk-Emanzhelinskaia-Zolotaia Sopka (1934), and Sinarskaia-Churilovo (1940). The 203-km Beloretsk-Karlaman line, which went into operation in 1977, provides rapid transport of cargo from the Magnitogorsk Industrial Region and of through freight from the Kuznetsk Coal Basin and Kazakhstan to the Volga and Central regions.

The Southern Urals Railroad has seven divisions: Cheliabinsk, Kurgan, Petropavlovsk, Kartaly, Orsk, Orenburg, and Zlatoust. It is linked to the Kuibyshev Railroad (Kropachevo and Kinel’ stations), the Kazakh Railroad (Iletsk, Nike’-Tau, Tobol, Zolotaia Sopka, Presnogor’kovskaia, and Petropavlovsk stations), the Western Siberian Railroad (Isil’kul’ station), and the Sverdlovsk Railroad (Kolchedan, Nizhniaia, Polevskoi, and Mikhailovskii Zavod stations).

The principal trunk line of the railroad, the Kropachevo-Cheliabinsk-Isil’kul’ line, provides direct links from the Volga, Central, and southern regions to the Urals, Kazakhstan, Siberia, and the Far East. The Kine’-Orenburg-Iletsk trunk line connects the European regions of the USSR with southern Kazakhstan and the republics of Middle Asia. The Kurgan-Kolchedan, Cheliabinsk-Polevskoi, Cheliabinsk-Nizhniaia, and Berdiaush-Mikhailovskii Zavod lines connect the Southern and Northern Urals.

The Southern Urals Railroad provides transport for enterprises of ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy and the mining, chemical, and machine-building industries, for coalfields, for petroleum refineries, and for developed agricultural regions. In 1976 the freight turnover of the railroad amounted to 239 billion ton-km, or 7.3 percent of the total for the entire country, ranking the railroad third in the country in freight handling. The main types of outgoing freight were mineral building materials (37 percent), ore (17 percent), ferrous metals (12 percent), and coal (9 percent). In terms of freight turnover, the principal commodities transported were coal (22 percent), ferrous metals (12 percent), oil (10 percent), and building materials (9 percent). The average freight-traffic density in 1976 was 50.4 million ton-km/km, which was 2.1 times greater than the national average. Passenger traffic was 11.3 billion passenger-km, or 3.6 percent of the total for the entire country.

The equipment of the Southern Urals Railroad has undergone considerable improvement. The principal trunk lines are double-tracked. Freight and sorting stations have been built, automatic block signaling is in use, and there is centralized traffic control. Service is provided by various types of modern trains; electric traction accounts for 80 percent of all freight and passenger traffic. The Southern Urals Railroad was awarded the Order of the October Revolution in 1971.


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