#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The first meters of the track were laid back in August 1935. The railway line connected the Zero Point of the northern town with the pier on the Norilskaya river. The length of the standard track gauge for domestic narrow-gauge roads – 750 millimeters – was 14 kilometers. The first train with technical cargo and food passed along the narrow gauge railway on February 12, 1936.
That year, the construction of the narrow-gauge railway Norilsk – Dudinka began, since the pier on the small river Valyok could not receive all the cargo needed for the village and the combine under construction. The new route was 100 kilometers longer than the first one. Its construction was carried out from two ends. Peat, deadwood and even frozen moss with brushwood were used for it. The builders met in May 1937 on the bridge by the Daldykan river. This 113-kilometer railway ran for a little over two weeks, but still helped the first builders, who soon began laying the correct narrow-gauge railway. The first train from Dudinka to Norilsk was met under the new head of construction, Avraamy Zavenyagin, on September 1, 1938.
At the beginning of 1940, a separate subdivision of the combine and a forced labor camp was formed – the Norilsk railway, and by 1944 the main highway Dudinka – Norilsk – Valyok, plus numerous branches to mines, quarries and factories, totaled 216 kilometers.
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Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive