23 Aug 2023 10:51

Russian Railways reopens through traffic along Baikal-Amur Mainline

ULAN-UDE. Aug 23 (Interfax) - Russian Railways (RZD) has begun allowing freight and passenger train traffic on new track laid next to a damaged section along the Nizhneangarsk-Kholodnaya stretch of the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) in Buryatia that was washed out due to flooding, the company said.

"At 8:20 a.m. Moscow time, after the completion of restoration work at the site of the track washout, the first passenger train travelled along the Nizhneangarsk-Kholodnaya section. Freight train traffic has also been opened fully," RZD said.

The company said 1.8 km of new track was laid and 21 overhead contact line supports and 1.2 km of contact line were restored. More than 250 people and 59 pieces of equipment, and washout management and restoration trains were brought in to restore train traffic quickly.

It was reported earlier that traffic would reopen with train speeds restricted to 40 km per hour.

RZD imposed restrictions on eastbound freight traffic and suspended through traffic on the BAM due to the washout of a section of track on the railway in Buryatia. Due to unusually heavy 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.

Passenger and freight train traffic was rerouted along the Trans-Siberian Railway. However, as the Trans-Siberian Railway is already overloaded, RZD, in agreement with federal railway transport agency Roszheldor, was forced to impose restrictions on accepting eastbound freight, with the exception of perishables and other food products.

RZD began laying new track at the washed out section on Monday evening. The restoration of the rail line was expected to take up to seven days.