ON DECEMBER 28 Russia’s Far Eastern Railway inaugurated electric operation on an 81 km section of the Trans-Siberian, between Kotikovo and Bikin. Only 350 route-km remains to be wired, between Bikin and Ussurisk. Speaking at the inauguration, Far East Railway President A Strelnik said the 150 km from Bikin should be energised by the end of this year, and the entire route would be electrified by the end of 2001.

On the same day Vice-Minister of Railways A Kondratenko inaugurated the Northern Railway electrification between Nyandom and Plesetskaya, and said the Plesetskaya - Obozyornaya section of the line to Archangelsk would be wired by the end of this year (RG 5.98 p279).