Coal exports help Murmansk railway beat cargo record

Trains in Murmansk, Northwestern Russia. (Atle Staalesen/The Independent Barents Observer)
A total of 1,120 wagons were unloaded in one day. Most of it was coal.

The 18th May was a record-beating day for the Murmansk railway terminal as a total of 1,120 wagons were unloaded, the press service of the Russian Railways informs.

As many as 726 wagons were loaded with coal, and most of the volumes were forwarded to the Murmansk Sea Port for out-shipment.

The record comes as the Arctic sea port is experiencing a significant growth. In 2017, the port handled a total of 51,7 million tons of goods, an increase of 54,5 percent compared with the previous year.

No growth in goods transport

The October Railway, a branch line connecting Murmansk with St.Petersburg, provides most of the goods subsequently shipped out from the Murmansk Sea Port. However, despite the increase in out-shipments, figures from the railway company show that there is no growth in goods transported on the line.

In 2017, total goods volumes on the October Railway shrunk by 1,9 percent compared with 2016, a survey from the company shows. In the first four months of 2018, the volumes bounced back thanks to a major increase in deliveries of construction materials and concrete.

Of the 99 million tons transported on the October line in 2017, a total of 24 million tons were iron ores, 26 million tons – construction materials, 2,5 million tons – industrial goods, 4,4 million tons – forest products, 11,1 million tons – oil and oil products, 18 million tons – fertilisers and 1,3 million tons – chemical products.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada ill-prepared for Arctic shipping boom, G7 sustainability summit hears, Eye on the Arctic

China: Qingdao plays pivotal role in China’s Arctic strategy, Cryopolitics Blog

Finland: In crisis, would Finland’s supplies be safe on Arctic rail near Russian border?, YLE News

Russia: Russia’s Putin to turn Northern Sea Route into global shipping artery, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden plans construction of northern coast railway, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Alaskan airport 5th in world for air cargo, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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