Sverdlovsk Railroad

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sverdlovsk Railroad


a link in the USSR’s network of railroads, running along the eastern and western slopes of the Central Urals and, to some extent, in the Northern Urals and adjacent parts of the Trans-Ural and Cis-Ural regions.

The Sverdlovsk Railroad is 5,643 km long, representing 4.2 percent of the USSR’s total rail network (1974). Its administrative offices are in Sverdlovsk. The railroad connects in the west with the Gorky Railroad (Cheptsa and Druzhinino stations), in the south with the Southern Urals Railroad (Mikhailovskii Za-vod, Polevskoi, Musliumovo, and Kolchedan stations), and in the east with the Western Siberian Railroad (Nazyvaevskaia station). Administratively, the Sverdlovsk Railroad is divided into seven districts: Perm’, Sverdlovsk, Tiumen’, Chusovskaia, Nizhnii Tagil, Serov, and Egorshino. Its principal sections are within Sverdlovsk and Perm’ oblasts; some sections are in Tiumen’ and Omsk oblasts and in the Udmurt ASSR.

The initial sections of the Perm’-Chusovskaia-Goroblago-datskaia-Ekaterinburg (present-day Sverdlovsk) line were laid in the period 1874–78; in 1885 the line was extended to Tiumen’. The initial sections connected the old industrial regions of the Urals with navigable rivers. The Ekaterinburg-Chelia-binsk line was completed in 1896, thereby joining the Sverdlovsk Railroad to the entire railroad network. The shortest line to St. Petersburg was established in the period 1906–08, with the completion of the Perm’-Viatka (present-day Kirov)-Vologda-Obukhovo trunk line. The shortest line to Moscow was established in 1924, in the postrevolutionary period, when the Sverdlovsk-Kazan (Derbyshki) line came into operation. The shortest line from Sverdlovsk to the main Trans-Siberian trunk line—via Kurgan—was completed in 1933. Under Soviet power, many new lines were built directly within the Sverdlovsk Railroad region, including the Ivdel’-Polunochnoe line (30 km), the logging line from Ivdel’ to Sergino on the Ob’ River (371 km), and the line to the Kachkanar iron-ore deposits. In 1975 the Tobol’sk-Surgut railroad was opened to traffic; construction on a line to the oil and gas fields at Nizhnevartovsk in Western Siberia is under way.

The Sverdlovsk Railroad serves one of the USSR’s largest industrial regions. Its most important junctions are at Sverdlovsk, Perm’, Smychka (Nizhnii Tagil), Serov, Tiumen’, and Voinov-ka. The railroad links up with river transport in several localities: with the Kama River at the Perm’, Krasnokamsk, Solikamsk, and Solevarni stations, with the Tavda River at Tavda station, with the Tobol River at Tobol’sk station, with the Tura River at Tura station, and with the Sos’va River at Sos’va station.

In 1975 the freight volume on the Sverdlovsk Railroad accounted for approximately 5 percent of that of the USSR’s entire rail network. Coal, minerals, building materials, lumber, and ferrous metals account for more than 60 percent of the total freight haulage. The average volume of freight traffic on the Sverdlovsk Railroad exceeds 26 million tons-km per km.

The Sverdlovsk Railroad, together with the southern Urals Railroad, forms an important link in the network that connects the European and the Asian parts of the USSR. However, transit freight accounts for about one-fifth of all freight traffic, since a much greater volume of freight is moved locally, either entirely within the region or into or out of it. In 1975 the total passenger traffic was approximately 11 billion passenger-km; of this, long-distance traffic accounted for approximately four-fifths, and suburban traffic for one-fifth.

Under Soviet power, the Sverdlovsk Railroad has been thoroughly modernized. Many lines have been converted to double-track, and classification yards have been constructed and expanded. The Sverdlovsk-Goroblagodatskaia-Kizel-Solikamsk, Perm’-Chusovskaia, Perm’-Kizel, and Goroblagodatskaia-Serov-Karpinsk lines and others have been electrified. In 1975 modern equipment moved almost all the railroad’s freight traffic, with electric locomotives supplying 62 percent of the motive power, and diesel locomotives 37.9 percent. The Sverdlovsk Railroad has been awarded the Order of Lenin (1971).


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