The time hummed, “BAM.” In fact, the construction of Russia’s second (after the Trans-Siberian Railway Network) railway access to the Pacific Ocean was started in 1934 as soon as the White Sea Canal was completed. Two independent sections were finished by the early 1950s: Tayshet – Ust-Kut and Komsomolsk-on-Amur – Sovetskaya Gavan. After the Chinese started border skirmishes in 1969, the government decided to stay on the safe side and complete the never-ending construction project of the century. On 29 September 1984, the builders drove in the last golden spike and sort of opened the traffic along 4,300 kilometers of the railway going through 3,300 engineering structures, including bridges, overpasses, tunnels. “Sort of” is because it took another five years from the opening of the end-to-end traffic to the commissioning of the railway and the construction of the Severomuysky Tunnel, the railway’s last and Russia’s longest one, ended in the new century. But we will not blame the builders, as there is permafrost there and temperature fluctuations are 100 degrees or more.
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