ru Lavna line

RUSSIA: A 49·7 km railway line to the port of Lavna, and a 926 m long double-track tunnel on the Trans-Siberian railway line were inaugurated on December 15.

The inauguration events were attended by President Vladimir Putin via a video stream.

Port link

The newly built 49·7 km railway line links the deep-water ice-free port of Lavna on the shore of the Kola Bay to Vyhodnoj on the existing network south of Murmansk. The alignment includes a 1·3 km bridge over the river Tuloma. The route is scheduled to become fully operational next year. It is planned to carry 18 million tonnes of freight a year. The line was constructed in 10 months.

This project forms part of Russia’s development of the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route. The comprehensive development of the Murmansk Transport Hub has become a top government priority, the Governor of Murmansk region Andrey Chibis said. Alongside other projects, he expects the railway to facilitate an increase in cargo through the port of Murmansk to 110 million tonnes by 2027, almost doubling current volumes.

Trans-Siberian tunnel

The 926 m long double-track Kerak tunnel on the Trans-Siberian Railway’s Amur oblast section was also opened on December 15.

It was constructed to replace an obsolete tunnel built in 1911 located 25 m away. In 2010, the structure was declared unsafe and repairs were not deemed beneficial. The new tunnel is capable of use at higher speed and offers more capacity. Its construction is expected to support wider capacity enhancement measures on the Bamovskaya – Belogorsk section of the Trans-Siberian railway; throughput is to be raised to 131 million tonnes per year from the current 120 m tonnes. Construction of the tunnel began in July 2021.

‘To switch from a 1911 tunnel to a modern facility means a lot for us in general, and for today’s situation in particular, taking into account the growing importance of the eastern territories’, President Putin said.