Military Review

BAM: the cost of building a century

The Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) is the second Russian railway exit to the Pacific along with the Trans-Siberian Railway. The most important economic and geopolitical object.

On 4300 kilometers from Taishet to Sovetskaya Gavan, BAM crosses 11 major rivers, 7 mountain ranges, connects more than 60 cities and towns. On BAM 2230 bridges, 8 tunnels, including the largest in Russia - Severomuysky.

Justice stories: The 40 anniversary of the Baikal-Amur Mainline was celebrated on April 2014. Moreover, the strict chronicle has not been forgotten, and she says that the country has risen to BAM several times.

The first is before Transsib, before the start of the main road of the country. In the 1889 year, choosing the path, Colonel General Staff Nikolai Voloshinov pushed through the taiga where the BAM rails now lie, concluded: “Impossible”. While it is impossible, because Transsib was needed very urgently. Like all of us. “Yesterday!” Is the most popular answer to the question: “When should I do it?”.

The history of the two highways is parallel, as they themselves, and, a little distracted from today's birthday, using the example of Transsib, let's see what it is - urgency in Russia ...

Russian Far East kept on the word of honor. Alexander III writes on the report fields of the Irkutsk Governor-General:

“I must confess with sadness and shame that so far the government has done almost nothing to meet the needs of this rich but neglected land. And it's time, it's time. ” (This is “with shame ... it's time for a while” - rather, it is a fact of conscience of the great king who was underestimated in our country. In fact, Russia just “concentrated”, having consolidated resources, approached the possibility of a great leap into Asia.)

The 17 March 1891 Rescript of the Year: “I now order to begin the construction of a continuous railway across Siberia, which has to connect the abundant gifts of nature of the Siberian regions with a network of internal communications.” Incredible work, sometimes ingenious impromptu, the longest railway in the world built in 23 year.

They straightened up somewhere: when a long arc is cut through the Russian mountains, and the country's largest bridge over the Amur is still being built in Khabarovsk
(finished in 1916!), they allowed the CEL - at 514 it is shorter, through the Manchurian steppes.

Somewhere and completely shook the world. The famous Circum-Baikal Railway, one of the most difficult routes on Earth, only bypasses Baikal from the south through the rocks (that's why Colonel Voloshinov considered the “Bamovsky” option: bypass Baikal from the north), and, while breaking through the tunnel behind the tunnel, they came up with a rail… on the Baikal ice (in the summer - the ferry).

Vladimir Nabokov recalled how “photo postcards” with trains going on ice were perceived in Europe as fantasy paintings.

However, the pass-through path to Vladivostok is open, and on July 1 on 1903, even before all the celebrations, cutting the ribbons, the transfer of troops began under the guise of tests. And the first Japanese shot: January 26 1904, in less than five months. The transfer of one army corps with weapons took a month.

Much bitter was said about that war, but neither the railroad workers nor the Baikal ice did not let down then.

In 1926, they returned to BAM, conducting their first reconnaissance. The route is still with another abbreviation, the decree 1932 of the year: “On the construction of the Baikal-Amur railway”. The final destination is the Perm harbor on the Amur (the future Komsomolsk-on-Amur). No less remarkable is the end point in the chronological sense: November 1 1945 of the year! The scheduled launch date for BAM launched in 1938 ...

And with the same eternal urgency in 1942, the rails and bridge trusses were torn off from the finished section of Bam-Tynda. They became the Volga Road: the railway line Ulyanovsk - Saratov - Stalingrad was the main transport for the victory, which turned the history of the world.

It is true that in the 1930 – 1950-s, BAM was built by Bamlag, then divided into 6 organizations of the same affiliation - the Main Directorate of Railway Construction Camps (GULZhDS) of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1935 there were 162 390 prisoners at the construction site, 2405 civilians and 6534 paramilitary security officer (of which 3874 are also prisoners).

BAM: the cost of building a century

It was delivered, mainly in temporary operation, a third of the highway - 1132 km. Partially developed adjacent territory. In 1953, these construction projects were closed. The life of BAM stopped for a decade.
Well, then it's time for a new start. New economic, military-political conditions in 1960-s made BAM the most important goal of the USSR. Half of the increase in freight turnover is in the Far East of the country.
World economic leadership passes to the countries of the Pacific coast, access to which (our main historical achievement) kept on one line of Transsib, sometimes passing a kilometer from the border. Geological intelligence reports about the riches of the region that are unique even for Siberia. BAM is declared building of the century.
Extreme conditions of the route dictated revolutionary scientific and technical solutions in tunneling, technologies for filling the roadbed and drilling and blasting operations in permafrost. A fundamentally new design of the bridge support foundations has been developed. In September, the Scientific Council of the USSR Academy of Sciences on BAM problems was established on 1974. By highway treated as a construction site of the century. But that's another story.

“All the powers look at our Vladivostok with envy!” - Colonel General Staff Nikolai Voloshinov proudly wrote, the one with which Transsib began (and this article), the first to pass along the route of the future BAM. He did not confine himself to pride; he devoted most of his life to the cause of preserving the Far East.

So was the then government that spent 1891 – 1913 on the Transsib 1 455 413 000 - those! - rubles! What kind of "efficiency", "return" could then expect! - that was a clean investment in our future.

Similarly, BAM, which cost 1969, 12,27, billion rubles. Only now with “envy they looked” not on Vladivostok alone: ​​“It is unfair that all the riches of Siberia belong only to Russians” (Madeleine Albright). And they feared, rather, as if the former secretary of state did not breathe again: "It is unfair that all the riches of Siberia belong to the Chinese."

So, BAM allegedly cost 12,27 billion rubles in 1969 prices of the year. The publicist must faithfully reproduce this figure from the certificate. And just as conscientiously to admit: neither he nor the reader, nor even the economists, know what it really meant. It is useless, throwing his head back, trying to imagine, hastily calculate.

There is no such “exchanger” in Moscow and in nature, which can translate it “at the current rate”. Defense spending seemed to be then the famous 5 billion rubles. And what does this figure mean? Nothing, except that the defense was exactly.

So “economically absolutely meaningless” BAM. It is only known for certain that it exists and that the Far East is still Russian ...
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  1. yuriy55
    yuriy55 31 October 2015 06: 35
    For the slow-witted strategists, simple hero-workers still paid the price. Living in a country the length of which from east to west and from north to south forces people not only to take off their hats from Europe and Asia, it should be remembered that the future of cargo transportation was laid precisely in the railway tracks and the higher speed of railway transport in comparison with road transport. In continuation of my thought, I propose to relax under:

  2. PlotnikoffDD
    PlotnikoffDD 31 October 2015 06: 52
    Not everything is measured by money. If you always talk about the cost, then it’s easier to stay at home, not to go anywhere and not spend anything.
  3. Free wind
    Free wind 31 October 2015 07: 25
    BAM needs our country to be !!!!!!
    1. washi
      washi 31 October 2015 15: 15
      Quote: Free Wind
      BAM needs our country to be !!!!!!

      Beria stopped the construction of a bridge (dam) to Sakhalin.
      Khrushchev stopped laying ponds and forest belts, according to the Stalinist plan for transforming nature.
      In Siberia, in one of the state farms, they managed to dig two ponds and launch fish. Still being caught.
      And BAM is needed for the development of minerals in Yakutia and the continuation of the branch to Chukotka and Magadan.
      And they stopped, after the death of the temporary detention center, railways. branches along the southern coast of the Arctic Ocean, which could really help the development of the country.
  4. Eugene
    Eugene 31 October 2015 09: 39
    What a crumpled ending. I had to re-read it several times. Article PLUS !! In general, everything connected with the railway is interesting. Twilight zone. For some reason I remembered the movie "Magistral".
  5. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 31 October 2015 10: 05
    Huge respect for the builders of BAM. For those who did not leave, I did not quit what I started. 5 years before school, I lived in a small village in the Far East, (or on the border of the Far North and Far East). Although the climate is different, but I understand the difficulties that life is very good. Of course, I was small and happy, I understand some situations only now.
    Very good article. If a respected author wants to write more about BAM ---- I will be very happy!
  6. parusnik
    parusnik 31 October 2015 10: 06
    BAM. It is only known for certain that it exists and that the Far East is still Russian ...And so it should be ...
  7. Bersaglieri
    Bersaglieri 31 October 2015 10: 20
    In addition to BAM, we need AYAM, YaMM and Transpolyarnaya .... they are building slowly.
  8. Fitter65
    Fitter65 31 October 2015 12: 24
    Thanks to BAM, a railway bridge across the Amur appeared, and I often see diesel locomotives with the BAM inscription on the Hummi-Hapsol span. You cross the Amur bridge and here it is, a monument to the builders of the BAM ... It somehow all became usual for me everyday. in the late 70's, our Komsomol and pioneer organization wrote letters to the builders of BAM, and the Komsomol organization of the city of YOUTH-Komsomolsk-on-Amur. They admired their labor accomplishments, and now he’s here himself, and all this is so commonplace, but still when you go fishing along BAM you look - dig here Urgala coal, gold is mined here, copper and tin are here, Olympic champion Yu. Chepalova was born, and I am proud that I am RUSSIAN !!!!!!!
  9. Aleksander
    Aleksander 31 October 2015 13: 13
    BAM -4300 km- was built intermittently for 50 years.
    Transsiberian7 000 kmThrough 12 years after the start of construction (xnumx g) started regular train connection Saint Petersburg-Vladivostok! Built without any Bamlagov, GULZHDSov and other Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1916 g (for three years), the Alekseevsky bridge (Amur) was built 2 600 m-the longest bridge in the world at that time. That’s how the great country worked and builtRussian empire. Glory and great respect to its managers, prospectors, designers, engineers and builders.
    Thanks to the author for reminding us of the glorious deeds of our ancestors.
  10. 31rus
    31rus 31 October 2015 17: 21
    These are exactly such projects that are needed now, to dampen their wooden ones into the future into infrastructure, and not into American candy wrappers, imagine BAM now how much work, how many orders, new technologies, new solutions and most importantly a big reserve for the future
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Aleksander
      Aleksander 31 October 2015 19: 57
      Quote: 31rus

      Invest, excuse me... hi
    3. sergeant1986
      sergeant1986 31 October 2015 21: 45
      It is possible to build a branch in Chukotka and the Far North.
  11. Raider
    Raider 31 October 2015 20: 50
    Then it was a throw to the East !!! On its development. How many youth left then. Such large-scale projects are developing the country, everyone considers how much they spent, it is necessary to calculate how much they have earned from this, we earn now. This is a strategic project laid down for centuries. It would be interesting to know more about him.
  12. moskowit
    moskowit 31 October 2015 20: 53
    There were no fools either in the Empire or in the USSR, we always thought ... Years through 20-30 BAM will work at full capacity. And the northern, abandoned roads will be launched. Russian emperors and Comrade Stalin looked ahead for centuries ...

    "The sun shines wisely in the sky,
    The edge is growing younger.
    From Baikal to the Amur
    We will lay the highway.
    Meet the chilly sunrises
    Meet a long snowstorm.
    In the biography of the planet
    We will enter our line.

    You hear, time is buzzing - BAM,
    On the expanses of the steep - BAM,
    And the big taiga obeys us.
    You hear, time is buzzing - BAM,
    On the expanses of the steep - BAM,
    This is the bell of our young hearts! ... "
  13. Good man
    Good man 31 October 2015 21: 51
    Sluggish somehow. The topic of the article is not fully disclosed.
  14. Pilat2009
    Pilat2009 22 October 2016 13: 21
    Quote: Aleksander
    The Trans-Siberian Railway - 7 km, 000 years after the start of construction (12) began regular communication

    Of course, I may be wrong, but the BAM was built in conditions much more complicated than the Trans-Siberian Railway. One Severomuisk tunnel what it cost-The longest Severo-Muisk tunnel in Russia (15 meters), the construction of which began in May 343, was broken to the end only in March 1977 and put into continuous operation in December 2001.
    And if you compare the number and length of bridges then in general.
    And by the way, instead of prisoners, Chinese and Koreans worked on the Transsib + A significant part of the builders were exiled prisoners and soldiers: "During the construction of the Transsib, up to 30 thousand workers died on it (of which about 20 thousand were guest workers of that time, Koreans and Chinese)."
    At the beginning of construction, there were 9,6 thousand people, and in 1895–1896, at the height of construction work, 84–89 thousand people, in 1904, at the final stage, only 5,3 thousand people. The construction of the Amur Railway in 1910 employed 20 thousand people