Train traffic resumes as Murmansk reconnects with rail grid

The bypass will keep the Arctic port connected until a permanent new bridge can be built.

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - June 22, 2020

Murmansk Governor Andrey Chibis announced on Friday that a bypass connection had successfully been completed and that trains again had started to move towards the city of Murmansk.

A new bypass, consisting of 5.7 kilometers of new railway, was built in just 18 days Chibis told journalists.

“A strictly organized, sometimes intricate and smooth undertaking with full devotedness from all participants has allowed us to reestablish rail connection with the city of the north in the quickest possible manner,” the governor said in a comment.

[Russia’s rail link to the port of Murmansk is severed by a bridge collapse]

The bypass was built in order to overcome the rail traffic jam caused by the collapse of a key railway bridge across the Kola River. Since the bridge collapse on June 1, logistics in the region have been paralyzed and the Murmansk Seaport in a state of crisis.

Several of the biggest industrial companies in the region are heavily dependent on the railway for supply and delivery of goods. The crisis caused regional authorities to announce a state of emergency on June 12.

More than 250 construction machines have been involved in the work along with more than 1,000 workers. Among the workers have been military engineers that were hired in order to speed up the operation.

The bypass will be in operation until construction on a new bridge is completed, presumably in October.