Planned railway would connect western Siberia to the Arctic Ocean

The proposed railway will be a powerful new connection between western Siberia and the Arctic coast. (Atle Staalsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
A historical decision has been taken on the Northern Latitudinal Passage project, regional Governor Dmitry Kobylkin says.

In an address on the state of affairs in his far northern Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Governor Kobylkin on Thursday announced that a historical decision had been taken in Moscow late October.

«The federal level has decided to build a railway between Nadym and Salekhard».

«We have come a long way to make this happen», the governor underlined and sent gratitudes to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Minister of Transport Maksim Sokolov, Finance Minister Siluanov and several more government representatives.

According to Interfax, the project is now to undergo an assessment process whereupon construction will start.

Link to Sabetta

The railway line is key part in the Northern Latitudinal Passage project and is planned to be connected with the Arctic Ocean through a 170 km connection between Bovanenkovo and Sabetta in Yamal Peninsula.

Governor Dmitry Kobylkin. (Atle Staalesen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Governor Kobylkin is confident that the new infrastructure will have paramount importance for the industrial development in his region.

«New centres of development will be three cities; Salekhard, Labytnangi and Nadym, and we will soon see their boost», he maintained.

According to the governor, the three cities will be hubs for both logistics and processing industry.

Kobylkin has worked hard to convince Moscow. However, it is not fully clear how the increasingly cash-strapped federal treasury will be able to provide financing.

From Arkhangelsk to Surgut by rail
Project presentation of the projected railway line connecting western Siberia and the Arctic coast. (Atle Staalesen/The Independent Barents Observer)

It will be a powerful new connection between western Siberia and the Arctic coast. The railway project will open a new major infrastructure connection to Russian Arctic waters, Nenets-Yamal authorities say.

And not only to the Yamal Peninsula. It will enable transportation of passengers and goods from cities such as Arkhangelsk to Labitnangy, across the Ob Bay and all the way to Novy Urengoy and Surgut.

The grand project will ultimately link two of Russia’s key Arctic railway lines, the Northern Line from Arkhangelsk and the line between Nadym and Tyumen.

When finished, the new line would enable you to take the train from Arkhangelsk and proceed through Labitnangy, the current last stop on the line, across the Ob Bay and all the way to Novy Urengoy and Surgut.

In Soviet times, the project was called the “Ural Industrial – Ural Polar”.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Who really built Canada’s first highway to the Arctic Ocean?, blog by Mia Bennett, Cryopolitics

Finland: Sámi concerned about Arctic railway plans, Yle News

Germany: Cheap oil from the Arctic? Fake news, says climate economist Kemfert, blog by Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle

Norway: Norway positive to Finland’s Arctic railway plan, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: New locomotives for world’s northernmost railway will run on liquefied natural gas, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: First building moved as northern Sweden town is relocated, Radio Sweden

United StatesBill allowing road through wildlife refuge in Alaska passes U.S. House, Alaska Dispatch News

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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