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Aug/11

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Transpolar Railway – The Dead Railroad

Transpolar railway (Gulag construction sites #501 and #503) is a railroad running on the way Chum – Salekhard – Igarka.

The construction of the railway began in 1947. Among the most likely reasons of the construction were the developing of infrastructure of Russian North, the simplification of supply of Norilsk, as well as improving the supply of the Northern Fleet.

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 1

By the end of 1949, the number of prisoners who worked in construction was about 70,000 people. Along the route every 5-7 kilometers there were camps with 500 to 1,500 inmates – about half of them were convicted on political charges.

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 2

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 3

The entire route of the railway took place in the Arctic. Camp regime and harsh climatic conditions – thawed swamp, mosquitoes and midges in the summer and snow drifts and temperatures down to 50 degrees in the winter – made the life and work of prisoners particularly hard. But Soviet leaders urged the construction of the railway and the prisoners were building up to 15 kilometers of railroad per month.

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 4

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 5

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 6

In March 1953, after Stalin’s death, an amnesty was granted and most of the prisoners were released. March 25, 1953 Soviet Government decided to suspend the construction of the railroad. The last prisoners left these places in 1955.

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 7

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 8

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 9

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 10

The constructed sections of the railway were abandoned. There is no official data on the number of deaths in construction. Rough estimate ranges from 60,000 to 100,000 for the period of 1947-1953. That’s why this railway is also called the Dead Railroad.

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 11

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 12

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 13

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 14

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 15

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 16

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 17

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 18

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 19

Abandoned Transpolar railway Salekhard-Igarka, Russia view 20

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1 comment

  • Gershom · January 12, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Quite fascinating, no-one knew what Stalin was up to? I think I do. Stalin was preparing to kill all the Jews in the USSR, his death (mercifully) stopped that from happening. If you doubt this, it is well documented by several authors who had access to Soviet files after the fall of the USSR. To this day the pro-Communist press in the West will not breathe a word about it because it would alienate most Jews from the Leftist cause. Stalin was also making plans to launch all the missiles in 1960 and overrun the West with Special Shock Units dressed in radiation suits. Again, well documented. Thank God Stalin died when he did! He was a Monster!

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