• Siberian Amur Yakutsk Mainline AYUM ‘Permafrost Express’

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Jeff Smith
Pretty amazing: SiberianTimes.com
Siberia’s amazing new railway - the ‘Permafrost Express’ - opens to passengers this month
Major engineering achievement will connect Russia’s largest region to Moscow by train for the first time.

This long-awaited, historic line was first planned in the tsarist era which came to an end 102 years ago.

Construction started under Stalin, but only now is the epic new railway called the Amur-Yakutsk Mainline - known as the AYAM line - fully opening.

Some 900 kilometres of the line will run over permafrost, a fact which makes it a major engineering accomplishment.

The new line connects the rest of the Russian Railways network in Siberia to Nizhny Bestyakh, a station across the Lena River from Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic, the largest region in the country.

This means direct trains will run soon from Yakutia to Moscow and back.

The first passenger service on the line is scheduled on 27 July.
  by David Benton
Is this the line that had a 50 mile or so long tunnel planned and started. They hit problems , and ended up building a 100 mile detour around it . Wonder if they ever finished the tunnel .
  by spRocket
I've been wondering how that line was progressing. Here and there, I have seen pie-in-the-sky proposals to extend the line further, at least to Magadan on the Sea of Okhotsk, and the even bigger pie-in-the-sky of extending it to Chukotka and tunneling under the Bering Strait to Alaska. The last is something I rate as highly unlikely, and Magadan only slightly less so.

How does the railway deal with the extreme temperature swings in that part of the world? Yakutsk is one of the coldest major cities on earth in winter, and can be surprisingly warm in summer. That has to be murder on the rails and roadbed.
  by lpetrich
Amur - Yakutsk Main Line discussion - RAILROAD.NET -- previous thread on it.

It's AYaM from its Russian initials: АЯM

Amur–Yakutsk Mainline - Wikipedia - I checked the Russian version with the help of Google Translate, and it's up to date on the opening of the line to Nizhny Berstyakh. It mentions plans for future construction, like a bridge across the Lena River and an extension to Magadan, but nothing definite about construction.

The Lena River separates NB from Yakutsk, and there is no bridge across it. One can cross it by boat in the summer, and on its frozen surface in the winter, but it is impassable in the spring and fall due to chunks of ice in the river. There is some discussion of a bridge across it or a tunnel underneath it, but nothing definite.

Magadan is on the Pacific coast to the east of Yakutsk, and the Bering Strait is to the northeast of it.
  by lpetrich
New railway in Siberia set to open linking Moscow with the coldest city in the world, Yakutsk | Daily Mail Online - has some nice pictures
The new 770-mile single-track line includes a 560-mile stretch over permafrost - permanently frozen ground soil - and is considered a major Russian engineering achievement. There are bridges crossing several major rivers and construction capable of withstanding both deep cold and heat. There’s an annual temperature fluctuation of almost 100 degrees centigrade.
That's 1240 and 900 km.

"The route has been running cargo trains after an opening by prime minister Dmitry Medvedev in 2014, but only now has Moscow given the go-ahead to open the route to passengers."
  by lpetrich
New rail link to world’s coldest city opens | The Independent | The Independent
In summer, ferries cross the Lena, and in winter when the river is frozen, vehicle drive across. But the ERT says: “There is no way to cross the river in spring or autumn due to moving ice.”

Travellers do not have to wait long for winter. The river normally freezes at Yakutsk in late October, and remains frozen for 30 weeks.

Yakutsk has an average high of -35C in December. At this temperature, reported Shaun Walker for The Independent, “The air is cold enough to numb exposed skin quickly, making frostbite a constant hazard.”
The Permafrost Express railway heads to the coldest city in the world in the heart of Siberia - Lonely Planet
Yakutsk is Russia’s diamond capital and the largest city in the world built on continuous permafrost, and temperatures are an average of -10.4°C, while the all-time low ever registered was in the 1860s, with the thermometers dropping to -64.4°C.

Before the Permafrost Express, Yakutsk was served only by two small airports and was absolutely inaccessible by road. And while this new railway technically stops at the Nizhny Bestyakh station, on the other side of the river from Yakutsk, it has definitely helped in the opening of a road that was once only available to cargo.
The OP's link: Siberia’s amazing new railway - the ‘Permafrost Express’ - opens to passengers this month - lots of nice pictures