The Zero Point was set up by members of the Norilsk expedition in 1919, which was organized by the Tomsk Technological Institute mining department’s graduates Nikolay Urvantsev and Alexander Sotnikov. They placed it at the northeastern slope of mount Schmidt. In 1921, the leveling of the narrow-gauge railway line Dudinka – Norilsk was tied to it.
There was also the first key transport hub at Zero Point: the Norilsk-1 railway station. It was there that the first steam locomotive came along the first branch – a narrow-gauge railway from the Valyok village.
All the first settlers, both free and involuntary, arrived there from Dudinka in 1930–40. The railway has not gone away since that time, it still works today, though not for passengers, but for Nornickel’s technological cargoes.
In the 1930s, the Zero Point was also the community center of the village. There stood the First House of Norilsk, there started its first street – Gornaya. The first two-story building was also erected on it – the office of the Norilskstroy organization.
There were also the first school, kindergarten, club and theater. The first cobblestone pavement was laid there.
Today, a memorial sign dedicated to the Zero Point stands at the bus stop of the same name. But the astro station itself stood a little off to the side, where heavy trucks are now undergoing weight control.
In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that the Norilsk combine first builders arrived to the future Norilsk site back in 1929, at that time they made the main bet on Norilsk platinum.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive