22 Aug 2023 13:40

Russian Railways to reopen repaired BAM tracks to limited rail traffic on Wednesday - govt

ULAN-UDE. Aug 22 (Interfax) - Russian Railways is planning on Wednesday to start allowing train traffic on new track laid at a site where erosion occurred on the Nizhneangarsk-Kholodnaya section on the BAM (Baikal-Amur Mainline) in Buryatia next to the damaged section, Igor Pukharev, head of the Severobaikalsky district of Buryatia, said.

"On the Russian Railways line, the installation of one branch of the railway should be completed today. There will be an inspection in the evening and tomorrow morning of the bed and the new tracks. Starting tomorrow, Russian Railways is planning to allow passenger and freight trains back onto the tracks, but with a decrease in speed to 40 km/h," Pukharev said on Russia 24.

There are plans to strengthen the dam in order to ensure similar situations do not re-occur, he said.

"The situation has more or less stabilized, and the dam has been practically restored so that there is no water flow. Water no longer runs onto the railway tracks. Road traffic has now been opened for all types of transport," he added.

Earlier it was reported that, because of erosion on the Baikal-Amur Mainline in Buryatia, Russian Railways had imposed restrictions on the acceptance of goods traveling eastbound, and through-traffic along the BAM was suspended. Due to abnormal rains and a break in a protective dam in the North Baikal region, the Kholodnaya River overflowed its banks and washed away the bridge and the adjacent railway embankment, which were part of the Nizhneangarsk-Kholodnaya stretch.

The movement of passenger and freight trains has been redirected via a bypass along the Trans-Siberian Railway. However, as the Trans-Siberian Railway is already overloaded, Russian Railways, in agreement with Roszheldor, is being forced to impose restrictions on the acceptance of goods for points east. This does not apply to perishable and food products.

On Monday evening, Russian Railways began laying new track at the site of the BAM erosion. In total, it will be necessary to restore 1.8 km of track, a bridge crossing, 1.2 km of the contact network and 20 supports. The preliminary estimated time to repair the infrastructure is a maximum of seven days.