Contemporary Issues and Developments

    The railroad today is still an essential mechanism for sustaining Russia's --population. While we already know that the majority of Russians settled along the original Trans-Siberian Railroad- expressly for that  purpose- residents of Yakutsk the capital of the autonomous region Yakutia have been waiting for a railroad connection since the time of Nicholas II.  Maps and raw data below


The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) occupies most of the Northeastern part of the Asian continent. It extends 2000 kilometers from north to south and 2500 kilometers from east to west. It occupies an area of 3 103 200 square kilometers forming 1/5 of the territory of Russia. The territory of Yakutia is larger then the territories of France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden, UK, Finland, and Greece put together.



Considering the data below and the map above, we can see how important it is for a main artery of the Russian Rail system  to connect with Yakutsk.

Republic Area: 3,103,000    
Republic Population: 1,061,000( at 01/01/94)  
Republic Capital: Yakutsk
Capital Population: 194,000( at 01/01/94)


Here is an article about recent plans for the realization of this long needed project.

BBC Monitoring
Russia revives plan to build Siberian railway
Source: RTR Russia TV, Moscow, in Russian 1300 gmt 13 Oct 03
[Presenter] It's been decided that the construction of a mainline railway
to Yakutsk, which was launched way back in Soviet times but is yet to be
completed, will be seen through to the end. The project has been revived
after the levels of water in the Amur and the Lena dropped in the summer of
this year, so much so that it jeopardized the delivery of supplies to
Russia's Far North. Our special correspondent Andrey Medvedev reports from

[Correspondent] It was Nicholas II who first had the idea to build a
railway to Yakutsk . However, he never began it, which, incidentally, came
in for criticism in the very first issue of the Bolsheviks' newspaper, The
Iskra, on 5 May 1912.

 [Correspondent] The Communists themselves then tried to put things right
where their predecessors went wrong. So the construction of a railway
began. Work to build a railway to Yakutsk began in 1985, virtually as soon
as the construction of the Baykal-Amur Mainline was over. However, less
than half was built. With the collapse of the USSR, the project ran out of
money. At present, as a result, most areas in Yakutia are accessible by
river transport, by car or by air. There is no railway.

This situation makes it very expensive to bring supplies to Yakutia.
Annually, the cost of northern deliveries is put at R8bn, with R4.5bn an
allocation from the federal centre. Road and river transport now account
for most of the delivery of northern supplies to the republic. The problem
is that, because of poor roads, road transport takes far too long to cross
the taiga. As for the River Lena, the level of water in it has dropped very
considerably, so much so that it jeopardized this year's northern
deliveries. This alone is reason enough that a railway is necessary ,
Vladimir Yakovlev, deputy prime minister in the Russian government, thinks.

[Vladimir Yakovlev, deputy prime minister] I'll certainly support it, as I
have said on a number of occasions. It became particularly obvious when the
level of water dropped in the Lena. In general, it is perhaps not the best
course of action to sit on our hands until something bad happens.

[Correspondent] The Railways of Yakutia joint-stock company has already
built a line to the town of Tommot . Back in Soviet times, a bridge was
erected here. Now, this unique structure - for not every nation can build a
bridge in the conditions of permafrost - is unused. The total cost of
building a railway to Yakutsk is R30bn. The leadership of Yakutia plans to
attract private finance to do it. As an incentive, concessions will be
offered to develop various deposits, of which there are quite a few, along
the route which has been chosen for this railway.

When the railway to Yakutsk is built, the cost of northern deliveries will
be cut by some 30 per cent. To people in Yakutia , it will mean lower prices
for food, petrol and fuel oil. To the Russian budget, it will mean that the
money thus saved could be spent elsewhere, and there is no shortage of