First Norilsk buses carried passengers to industrial site
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First Norilsk buses carried passengers to industrial site

August 03, 2022

In the 1950s, the main difficulty in the work of passenger transport in Norilsk was the remoteness of destinations: factories, mines and construction sites.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Of the 15 routes that existed at that time, only three could be called intracity routes – they connected Gorstroy (new part of the town) with the Old Town. The rest connected remote points of the industrial site with even more remote settlements.

These routes are already incomprehensible to today’s passengers: for example, from the Metallurgists’ club to the 25th plant or from the Severny village to mine 7/9.

Sometimes bus routes ran right through the territory of the factories, and the word “direction” was more suitable for the roads. All that, of course, did not add coherence to the passenger movement.

After Norilsk became a city, the problem of passenger transportation had to be solved radically. To do this, the bus garage, which was located on the site of the Copper plant as part of the plant’s transport office, was allocated to an independent unit. So in the summer of 1954, the Norilsk Passenger Motor Transport Office appeared.

Its fleet included real buses, which replaced home-made buses converted from American lend-lease trucks. The first passenger serial transport was the ZIS-154 and ZIS-155 buses.

The traffic schedule was rather arbitrary: line traffic controllers worked on the streets, they promptly redirected buses to where they were needed.

In the 1960s, Norilsk began to grow rapidly, new streets appeared – Leningradskaya, Talnahskaya, Nansen, Ordzhonikidze, Krasnoyarskaya, Begicheva. So, there were new stops and intracity routes.

Here is what passengers wrote to the city newspaper at that time:

“Early in the morning we were suddenly awakened by a bus. The first bus on Begichev street – we look and do not believe our eyes! Behind it – the second, third. We ran up to the conductor and the driver, thanked them. We do not have to walk kilometers to the first stop on Leninsky prospect! There is a sign on our house that says “Bus stop”. It’s a holiday on our street!”

True, new streets were often a test for buses: the roadway laid in the middle of a construction site in fact turned out to be completely impassable. Another big test for drivers was the new route No. 16 – to the Talnah village: until the bridge was built, the buses went directly on the ice of Norilskaya river, and in the summer – along the pontoons.

In the History Spot photo project previous publication, we told that Norilsk residents’ childhood is special.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

August 03, 2022

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