Ust Iimsk tramway

Photos: Georgy Krasnikov

RUSSIA: The last regular services on the Ust-Ilimsk interurban tramway ran on December 21, with trams replaced by buses from the start of the year. The 15 km line is now to be dismantled.

The 1 524 mm gauge line was the last tramway constructed in the Soviet Union, opening in 1988 to connect the town located 640 km north of Irkutsk with a pulp and paper mill to the northeast.

The tramway was included when the mill was privatised, and now belongs to the Ilim forestry and paper production group.

The ageing of the infrastructure and the limitations of the single route being mostly outside the urban area meant it could provide only limited transport for the residents of the town, and so last year Ilim decided to switch to cheaper bus operations instead of investing in fleet renewal.