So, in the 1940s, a tram was designed in Norilsk, in the 1960s they wanted to launch a trolleybus, and in the 1980s there should have been a monorail. However, all these projects remained on paper.
The only public transport that took root in the city was and remains buses.
The approximate date when the first of them went around Norilsk was 1941. True, it was the only passenger transport. The first buses were converted from conventional trucks, both domestic and imported. This handicraft transformation took place in the Norilsk garages by the efforts of local artisans.
Such transport did not suppose comfort and warmth, but there was no choice: during rush hours passengers hung in clusters on the steps. The most spacious bus was based on the huge American tractor Mac.
In the 1950s, the main difficulty in the operation of passenger transport was the remoteness of factories, mines, mines and construction sites.
Of the 15 routes existing at that time, only three could be called intracity ones – they connected Gorstroy (the New city) with the Old City. The rest connected distant points of the industrial site with even more distant villages.
Those routes are already incomprehensible to today’s passengers: for example, from the Metallurgists’ club to the 25th plant or from the Severny settlement to the 7/9 mine. Sometimes the bus routes ran directly through the factories, and the word ‘direction’ was more appropriate for the roads.
After Norilsk became a city, the problem of passenger transportation had to be fundamentally solved. Therefore, the bus garage, which was part of the combine’s road transport office, was separated into an independent unit. Therefore, in the summer of 1954, the Norilsk passenger motor transport office, the predecessor of the current Norilsk Passenger Transport Enterprise, appeared.
In the last issue of the History spot photo project, we talked about how the first illuminated advertisements appeared in Norilsk in the 1960s: the city was decorated with the names of restaurants, cafes and cinemas glowing in the night.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive