itinerary of Circum-Baikal railway was formed at the end of 50-th years, after
the building of Irkutsk hydro-power station in 1956 and flooding of an area, which is
located along Angara river from Irkutsk to Baikal. Some time earlier in 1947-49 a shorter
passing road Irkutsk - Bolyshoy Lug - Slyudyanka was built and after it's building the
main way of Transsib was moved there. 89th km branch-line
Slyudyanka-2 - Kultuk - Maritui - Baikal became a dead-end road, and this very road is
Circum-Baikal railway now. Also the 171-km part from Mysovaya to Slyudyanka-2
was built as a part of Circum-Baikal railway now is the main way of Transsib.
there are 4 stations (Kultuk, Maritui, Ulanovo and Baikal) and 1 passing-track (137th km). It is a 1-track road, the 2nd
track (more close to rocks) has been dismantled.
- Irkutsk, +5 hours from Moscow, +8 hours from Greenwich.
of populated areas along the railway is 12 (Kultuk, 154th km, Angasol'skaya,
Sharyzhalgay, 134th km, Baklan', Maritui, Polovinnaya, Ponomarevka, Ivanovka, Shumikha,
Baikal); also there are 5 tourist hostels (134th km
"Tayozhnaya", 102nd km "Shumikha", 98th km - "Khvoynaya",
80th km "Retro" and "Serebryanny Klyuch".
significant water obstacles - Kultuchnaya, Angasolka, Bol'shaya Krutaya Guba,
Shabartui, Maritui, Bol'shaya Polovinnaya, Bol'shaya Ponomarevka, Ivanovka, Bol'shaya
Shumikha and Bol'shoy Baranchik.
biggest river - Bol'shaya Polovinnaya.
biggest populated area (not on the way of Transsib) - Baikal. The biggest
populated area in the middle of the railway - Maritui.
There are 38
tunnels (total length is 9063 m), 5 stone galleries
(total length is 295 m) and 3 ferro-concrete galleries
with holes along the active track of Circum-Baikal railway.
longest tunnel is through Polovinny Cape (777.5 m).
The counting of kilometers on the historical segment of
Circum-Baikal railway is conducted from Irkutsk-Sortirovochny (old name - station
Innokent'evskaya), which till 1934 was the administrative boundary Tomsk (earlier -
Middle-Siberian, Siberian, Tomsk, Siberian district of P.S.) and Transbaikalian lines. The
station Baikal thus is located on 72 km from this point of the counting out.
introduced into fallacy by the fact, that the branch Irkutsk - Baikal have
begun to build from modern station Irkutsk-Passazhirsky, and therefore, they calculate the
kilometrage from it. Incorrect information presented in many books, that ostensibly the
kilometrage of Circum-Baikal railway went from Irkutsk-Passazhirsky are based on design
data, instead of actual data. The true data on a profile and distancescan be seen, for
example, in source 5.
flooding of Irkutsk - Baikal segment it was kept historical kilometrage. Thus,
the historical section is located from 72 kms (st. Baikal) up to 161 kms (st.
Circum-Baikal railway never existed administratively. It was sheer a part of
the Transbaikal line. Officially there was only Administration of the Circum-Baikal
first time a train to a coast of lake Baikal came on October 21 (November 2),
1898 after laying of railway from Irkutsk up to station Baikal (the length was 61 versts)
on a coast of Angara; this railway has become western part of Circum-Baikal railway.
itinerary of the Circum-Baikal railway began on station Baikal and ran along
shores of lake through Kultuk - Slyudyanka - Tankhoy being finished on station Mysovaya -
which from on east a Transbaikal railway constructed little bit earlier ran. The final
solution about an itinerary of Circum-Baikal railway was accepted on June 9 (22), 1901 by
committee on construction of the Siberian railway - as in the projects there were 2 main
versions of its laying.
of Circum-Baikal railway in its final condition from Baikal up to Mysovaya made
244 versts (260 km).
construction: the construction of east part of a Circum-Baikal railway from
Mysovaya up to Tankhoy was begun at the end of 1899; then a way from Tankhoy up to
Slyudyanka on a more sloping and flat southern coast of Baikal was built; in the spring of
1902 construction of the most difficult part of the railway - from Slyudyanka up to
station Baikal began. Building operations on construcion of tunnels began on December 1
(14), 1902. The working traffic of trains on the whole itinerary of Circum-Baikal railway
was opened on September 18 (October 1) 1904, and October 16 (29), 1905 it was accepted to
regular operation and became a part of Transbaikalian railway in the administrative
railway crossing-place through Baikal worked since April, 1900 before delivery
of Circum-Baikal railway to a regular operation, and the irregular trips were made down to
1917 inclusively. On the crossing-place the icebreaking train ferry "Baikal"
(was lauched on water in Listvyanka June 17 (29), 1899) and the a little smaller size
icebreaking train ferry "Angara" (was lowered on water in July 25 (August 7)
1900) were used. On winter period a temporary track was layed on ice of Baikal - since
1901 to 1904 inclusively.
length of the railway during the building of the first track there were built 39
tunnels (total length 3751,5 sazhens (8004 m)), and also about 500 shoots, bridges and
construction of the railway it was involved involved from 2700 (1900) to 15000
track on Circum-Baikal railway began to be constructed in 1911 and were builded
by April, 1914, for 3 months prior to the beginning the First World War.
||The unique railway
are no analogous to the Circum-Baikal railway in the world. This is an unique complex
historical museum. The railway and the area adjoining it includes not only monuments of
engineering-techincal art (tunnels and galleries, bridges and viaducts, breast walls),
monuments of architecture, but also various monuments of nature - of geology, mineralogy,
The number of engineering structures is the following:
tunnels - 41 (40 kept: 39 are on historical section of Circum-Baikal railway (now only 38
are being used) and one more is to the east of Slyudyanka), stone galleries - 16 (15 kept,
now only 5 are being used), bridges and viaducts - 248, breast walls - 268, monuments of
architecture - 172.
By the resolution of Irkutsk regional Soviet of the People's Deputies from December 21,
1982 the section of Circum-Baikal railway from station Baikal up to station Kultuk is
announced an architectural - landscape reserve and is taken under state protection.
Some more infromation about it: Sights, Tunnel
list, Bridge list.
||Main data sources for this Handbook were:
1) The book "East-Siberian main line. The path of 100 years length", Irkutsk,
2) The article by N. A. Alexandrov "The Circum-Baikal railway", journal
"Rail transport", 5, 1991, anniversary issue by the Transsib centenary. (Rus)
3) The book "Circum-Baikal main line", Irkutsk. (Rus)
4) The fundamental book about Transsib - Harmon Tupper "To the Great Ocean",
Boston, 1965. (Eng)
5) The album of the executive drawings on
construction of the Transbaikal line, Baikal branch, the branch to the Chinese boundary
and quayes of the ice-breaking train ferry on lake Baikal, 1895-1901 (Rus)
6) "Brief informations about development of domestic railways" (1838 - 1990),
Moscow, 1996, CNTB MPS RF, comp. G. M. Afonina (Rus)
7) The book by A. Khobta "The road of one century length", Irkutsk, 2004
8) Personal observations and itinerary from Circum-Baikal railway of the project members.
* All dates are given in Old and New (in parentheseses) Style.