20.05.2020

History of the Chernobyl Railway

The history of the construction of the railway in the Chernobyl region


One of the little-known sights of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is a part of the railway track, which before the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was intensively used to transport passengers and various cargoes between the cities of Chernigov and Ovruch. It was a major railway connection between Moscow and Khmelnitsky. The presence of such a transport highway was one of the important factors that determined the choice of the location of the nuclear power plant and the laying of the city of power engineers - Pripyat in the vicinity of the Yanov railway station.

 

Railway communication was built in these places 60 years before the accident at the ChEAS. In March 1927, a major infrastructure project was implemented - the construction of the Chernihiv-Ovruch railway. According to the research documentation, conducted in difficult conditions. About a hundred kilometers of the territory for the future railway lines were flooded. A hundred years ago, the floodplains of the Pripyat and Dnieper rivers were swampy. These lands learned about land reclamation only after the Second World War. To carry out work on creating an embankment for railway tracks, a huge amount of resources was prepared. You need to understand that in the late 20s of the twentieth century there was no such equipment that would facilitate human labor. Builders worked with shovels, and wheelbarrows for the transport of building materials. Logistics for rail delivery was carried out by water. Barges were loaded in Kiev and delivered along the Pripyat River to Yanov. By the way, it should be noted that during the construction of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, 2 villages disappeared from topographic maps. This is the village of Nagorytsi and the Yanov farm. A little later, after the construction of the railway station, the village of railway workers quickly grew nearby. It turns out that there is a mess on the cards - two Janovs. An old farm on the banks of the Pripyat River and a new village at the station. Due to greater confusion in 1946, the old Yanov farm was renamed the Podlesny farm, and the name Yanov was retained only in the village near the station of the same name.

 

The pace of work inspired. Already on September 15, 1927, and 15 days earlier than the deadline, the railway track, that is, sleepers and rails were laid. Thanks to such efficiency in the construction of railway tracks, the technical operation of the railway was already possible in the same year. So far, traffic has been carried out only in three sections on three sections of the new railway. The first section is from Chernigov to Nedanchichi, the second is from Yolchi to Zimovishche and the third section is from Ovruch to Yanov. The total length of the railway line between Chernigov and Ovruch was 177 685 meters.

 

To connect these sections, it was required to build railway bridges over the Dnieper and Pripyat rivers. Before the construction of the bridges, for the beginning, it was necessary to bring the railway track only after that the key stage in the construction of the Chernihiv communication - Ovruch would be considered completed. The construction of bridges began closer to the fall of 1927. At this time, metal structures for the bridges themselves were delivered by water, which were manufactured by the Bryansk Plant in the city of Dnepropetrovsk.

 

Work on the creation of a new crossing began with the strengthening of the coastline in the place where the bridge was supposed to be in contact with the land. To create the bulls (the first support from the shore on which the bridge rests) a rather large amount of granite was required. Granite itself was delivered from Korosten quarries.

 

By the way, for greater convenience in the construction of bridges on the Dnieper and Pripyat, it was decided to erect a temporary, wooden bridge across the Pripyat River to ensure the delivery of stone in the required quantities. Delivering stone on horse-drawn carts was very laborious and costly. In the winter of 1927, a temporary railway bridge was built on the Pripyat River. It took only one week to build it. The bridge was built as follows - wooden piles and supports for the bridge were driven through the ice. Beams were laid on the supports on which the railway tracks were laid.

 

Interesting fact. During operation of the temporary bridge, locomotives did not call on it. A steam locomotive pushed wagons with building material onto a bridge from one bank (from the Yanov station side), and on the other hand, another locomotive picked up the train and dragged it to the bridge being built across the Dnieper. The length of the train was not less than 35 cars.

 

The very next spring, March 15, 1928, the bridge was dismantled, and the piles driven into the bottom of the Pripyat River were removed - they could interfere with shipping, which was the main mode of transport in this region.

 

The construction of bridges continued until 1929. Unfortunately, the construction of a bridge across the Pripyat River did not do without an accident and casualties. In the summer (July 4, 1929) the unfinished span of the bridge collapsed into the river. According to unverified information, the metal farm fell due to adverse weather conditions - there was a strong wind and thunderstorm.

 

By the winter of 1929, bridges were built. Already on November 7, 1929, traffic on railway bridges across the Pripyat and Dnieper rivers was opened.

 

The opening of the movement was held in a festive atmosphere - an orchestra played, and residents of the nearest villages who came to the celebration were treated to gingerbread cookies and sweets. The organizers staged a solemn ride on the train to the Pripyat bridge to the Yanov station.

 

On August 23, 1941, during the retreat of soldiers of the 5th Army, the southwestern front blew up two bridges across the Pripyat and the Dnieper, so that the Germans did not get the strategic object. About ten years after the end of World War II, the bridges were rebuilt.

 

Railway communication Moscow - Khmelnitsky played a positive role during the construction of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the 70s. It was also actively used during the liquidation of the Chernobyl accident. With its help, a huge amount of building materials was delivered to the station to create a sarcophagus.

 

After the accident in 1986, part of the railway was abandoned from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to the Vilcha station in a westerly direction. It was closed due to the fact that it fell under the release of a radioactive trail, which after the explosion of the reactor with the wind blew to the west and as a result, the piece of iron was in the exclusion zone.

 

After the Chernobyl accident, in order to ensure the transportation process in the formed zone, to transport goods to eliminate the consequences of the accident, to deliver nuclear plant personnel, contractor workers, a whole range of works was carried out to reconstruct the railway communication of the Chernigov - Ovruch section. Rolling stock decontamination points were built on the 42nd kilometer of the Ovruch - Vilcha section. In the area of ​​the resettled village of Kaporanka, the Peresadochnaya station was built with devices for decontamination of rolling stock, passenger platforms for transplanting from the Slavutich-Peresadochnaya electric trains to the electric trains running along the already contaminated Peresadochnaya-Semikhody section. Since 1991, due to a decrease in levels of radioactive contamination in the Peresadochnaya - Semikhody section, the Peresadochnaya station is closed, decontamination equipment has been dismantled, and electric trains run in the Slavutich - Semikhody section without transferring passengers. The Semikhody stopping point was rebuilt and in November 1987 a station of the same name was put into operation with four tracks near two platforms in closed pavilions for embarking and disembarking employees of the ChNPP and contractor organizations in electric trains.

 

Interesting fact. After the collapse of the USSR, part of the railway communication Slavutich-Semikhody ended up on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. For this, Ukrzaliznytsia leased this section of the road and the employees of Ukrzaliznytsia are engaged in maintenance.

 

Currently, the abandoned railway section of the Vilcha - Yanov canvas has begun to be restored. Measures taken to repair the track on the section from Yanova to r.p. Buryakovka will allow its further use for transporting radioactive waste from the industrial site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to the Buryakovka PZRO.

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