Regional Research of Russia

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 316–322 | Cite as

The regional transport megaproject of the baikal–amur mainline: Lessons of development

  • A. A. Kin
Spatial Features of Sectoral Development


The paper summarizes the construction experience of the Baikal–Amur Mainline (BAM) and analyzes the causes of its noncompletion and loss-making operation. It is shown that BAM tunnels were not only useful for transport but they also proved a large-scale testing ground for new models of domestic and foreign equipment designed for mining and tunnel works and developing new technologies for tunneling in permafrost conditions and methods for fortifying earthworks. New construction technologies developed for the BAM and tested when it was laid make it possible today to confidently build roads, tunnels, and ports in extreme climatic conditions. Excessive staff turnover was due to errors in the development of the railway construction project. As a result, housing, which prevails in settlements along the BAM, is often rundown and dilapidated. The conclusion is made that effective implementation of major projects in the BAM zone is impossible without the protectionist policy of the state and that without the intensification of economic development of the adjacent territory, the BAM will never be cost-effective. Conditions are shown under which the BAM can be fit for heavy trains, and the Trans-Siberian Mainline, for specialized trains.

“Railway is not only an auxiliary means of exchange, but also a powerful productive force. But this does not exhaust the significance of railways.”

S.Yu. Vitte


Trans-Siberian Mainline BAM North-Siberian Railway construction of BAM development of the BAM zone development prospects transit problems 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Economics and Industrial EngineeringSiberian Branch, Russian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia

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