RUSSIA’S Northern Railway is pushing ahead with 25 kV 50Hz electrification of its Vologda - Archangelsk line, under a project started two years ago. Following energisation of the 90 km from Konosha to Nyandoma in November (RG 12.97 p837), work has switched to the 120 km Nyandoma - Plesetsk section. Around 200 km south of Archangelsk, Plesetsk is the site of the Russian space launch base which has generated substantial additional freight traffic for the railway over the past few years.

According to Project Engineer Mr Smirnov, two construction bases have been established at Nyandoma and Shalakushka, with the aim of completing the next section by the end of this year. Two new substations will be constructed, and optic fibre communications links installed. The wires are expected to reach Archangelsk before the end of the decade.

HAddressing a multinational seminar on the Transsiberian landbridge in Khabarovsk on March 10, Deputy Minister of Railways Podavashkin revealed that work is to be stepped up on electrification of the last remaining diesel-worked section of the corridor. Wiring is getting under way on the 400 km between Kotikovo and Ussurisk, he said. Delegates from Kazakstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea were told that an extra 1·8 million tonnes of freight from China was expected to use the route this year with the completion of the cross-border link between Malakhino and Hunchun (RG 6.97 p339). o