While researching into historical information about construction of the railway “Salekhard-Igarka” I understood that these investigations had not finished even after 40 years. It was neces-sary to become acquainted with archival materials. I heard that many documents in Yermakovo, concerning the course of construction, had been annihilated. But the other fact has drawn atten-tion: many participants of construction had been trying to confirm the duration of labour activity just on this object after decades, addressed in Yaroslavl techarchive (òåõàðõèâ) of the Northern railway. Attempts to receive the information of materials available in this archive had not been given results during several years. The repeated inquiry in 1996 has turned out more successful. In all probability, employees of techarchive have believed in gravity of our intentions to study the history of the neglected, given up road and they have made a postscript to the official infor-mation: «Documents of basic activity with a signature stamp “Strictly confidential”, “Top secret” about construction of the Pechora railway are kept in regional state archive”, and it was also in-formed, that for work with such documents it is necessary to have the direction and the certifi-cate of the admission to documents.
Setting out to Yaroslavl, I did not firmly convinced that there are materials
directly about object ¹ 503 in archive, and I didn’t so hoped for the access to
similar materials would be easy. No wonder that it was not a business trip. It
was my leave in far, not in the least the northern city which I did fail
scrutinizing. The brightest impression of my three-day stay in Yaroslavl is
extraordinary affability of its inhabitants. Also it’s their openness, desire to
help. However, there were open not only townspeople, but also the archives.
Their employees were surprised with my occurrence. Frankly speaking, the
majority of them heard a little about Igarka and the railway which should
connect our city with the European part of the country. Experts in Directorate
of Northern railway were founded more versed in this question, but they were
nevertheless at all surprised, that road had not ever constructed. I was
explained there, how archives had got to Yaroslavl. Directorate of Northern
railway has been moved to this city many years later after the construction of
objects ¹ 501 and 503 had been laid up. All archival documentation has been
transferred together according with the Directorate. At the moment the
documentation on staff is kept only, technical and account reports had been
deposited to provincial archive. Fortunately, any information to the admission I
haven’t been demanded, stamps “Strictly confidential” and "Top secret" were
taken off. The greatest difficulty was the search of documents about objects ¹
501 and 503 directly. The huge list of account documents about Northern railway
demanded their preliminary viewing. Frankly speaking, hope to find interesting
information in account reports was little.
To my greatest surprise, there were not so much account documents in these re-ports. Northern Directorate of construction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was compo-nent of GULZhDS (ÃÓËÆÄÑ – CCARWC, Central camps’ administration of railway construction). It’s no mere chance that annual account reports on construction ¹ 501 and ¹ 503, which are keeping in archives of Yaroslavl, are signed by the deputy chief of GULZhDS (ÃÓËÆÄÑ), the chief of Northern Directorate of railway construction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR by Colonel V.A. Barabanov.
The basic attention has been given to the analysis of construction, and besides the characteristic of organizational structure of Directorate was expounded often, a course of construction (filling up the permanent way, laying the main way, a construction of bridges, etc.), and also the material security, fulfilment of the camp estimate, and even there were reports on camps for 1949 and 1951 years.
Certainly, reports GULAG’s (ÃÓËÀÃîâñêèõ) building directorates have their own specificity: there is a tendency to achievement own object with any means. At the same time, severe rigidity and insistence of the report with all aspects helped historians, and even, in my opinion, modern experts. Huge volumes of the account reporting as it is surprising help us to restore a truthful history of the construction of the road Salekhard - Igarka. Even the brief review of these documents convinces in it …
There is the history of formation of Northern Directorate and construction ¹ 501 in the annual report of 1947 year. It was being created according to the decision of the Government and the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR from April, 28, 1947 for ¹ 00457. Control and realization of the construction of a railroad line from the station Tchum Pechora’s railway to the location of the future seaport in Ob’s gulf for a distance of 700 kilometres were made Directorate responsible for them. Construction of this railroad line in the Polar circle region received the name “Construction ¹ 501”. With the specified order, as the saying is in the report, Northern railway construction and Pechora construction (Ñåâæåëäîðñòðîé and Ïå÷îðñòðîé) have been included in structure of the Northern Directorate. For performance preparatory and building works on a part behind polar Ural in structure of Northern Directorate has been created Ob reformatory camp with its dislocation in area of the town of Salekhard. Designing and prospecting works have been placed on the Northern expedition and Ural expedition of the GULZhDS’ railway project (Æåëäîðïðîåêòà ÃÓËÆÄÑ). The basic goal which was put to Northern Directorate, - was to lay a way and open the working (trial) traffic on a main section from station Tchum through Yelezkoe (Åëåöêîå) saddle of the Ural ridge for a distance of 118 km. On May, 13, 1947, that is 15 days later from the moment of the edition of the order of Minister of Internal Affairs, Northern Directorate had been starting an earth-moving work and laying the main way from station Tchum to the east. Laying of a way on a part from the station Tchum to the siding “Sob” (118 km of the road) had completed on December, the 5th.
By the end of 1947 Northern Directorate had included the following independent divisions: five building departments, the wood and transport departments, two construc-tion-assembly bridge-offices, the central transit camp on the station Pechora, an autorepair factory and the central mechanical-repair workshops in a settlement Abez (Àáåçü), two State farms (ñîâõîç), Ob reformatory camp, Northern railway camp and Pechora camp (Ñåâæåëäîðëàã and Ïå÷îðëàã), and also a printing-house in Velsk (there newspapers about construction “For the polar railway” and “The Labour bulletin” were published).
Special place among these divisions is the Ob reformatory camp (other name - Obstroy), which was engaged in works on construction of a part 168-300 km. In 1947 there was the problem to Obstroy of development basic strong points with limited re-sources, on which base it was possible developing building works of 1948. The first organizational group consisting of employees from management staff has arrived to Salekhard at the beginning of July. And in second part of July it had already shifted its base to the opposite coast of the river in the village Labytnangi located directly on the territory of construction.
The beginning of Obstroy works was only at second part of August when the first groups of prisoners arrived, before this the construction had only small group of prison-ers from local reformatory (78 persons).
In 1947 Obstroy was engaged in construction of civil, industrial and warehouse buildings, in construction of temporary moorage settlement Labytnangi, and construc-tion of “winter road” (the road which is built through the forest on snow or on ice where man can’t go on foot), manufacture a part of earth-moving works of access branch line Labytnangi-Obskaya, preparation of a wood and firewood. Ob reformatory had man-aged with these problems in 1947 well. But modest lines about use of a labour force speak “about big losses of a labour force because of people physical weakening”.
1948-th is interesting by "repeated and serious changes" of the organizational structure of Northern Directorate. Since January, 1, 1948 Pechorstroy and Northrail-waystroy were allocated from structure of Northern Directorate as moved into direct submission to GULZhDS (ÃÓËÆÄÑ). There were new divisions in the second quarter in Ob camp. And in June according to the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR Baydarsky and Polar reformatories (construction 503) organized for development of Northern part of construction, and Berezovsky reformatory - for the organization the base for own preparations of a wood.
The most full characteristic of activity of construction ¹ 503 is in the ”Explanatory note to the report on Northern Directorate investments and construction ¹ 503 Minis-tries of Internal Affairs of the USSR for 1949”. But there is the other date of the organi-zation of construction: “Construction ¹ 503 is organized in March, 1949 according to the decision of Council of Ministers of the USSR from January, 29, the same year which changed a direction of a railroad line Tchum - Obskaya - Shchuchye - Stone Ñape to a new direction Tchum - Obskaya - Salekhard - Yermakovo - Igarka”. Construction of a railroad line was laid on construction ¹ 503 from the town of Igarka, Krasnoyarsk territory, through a settlement Yermakovo up to the right coast of the river Pour by general extension of 601 kilometer and a construction of sea- and river port, a ship-repair factory and civil settlement in the town of Igarka on the river Yenisei. Terms of works’ performance have been divided by Council of Ministers of the USSR on two turns. The first turn envisaging the opening of through working of trains from the town of Salekhard up to the town of Igarka, a construction of a sea moorage, some part of ship-repair manufactures and civil settlement, should be executed by 1953. The finish of construction works of the railway, port and settlement, and also putting these constructions into operation was appointed to 1955.
There a detailed list of works on railway construction and construction of port and settlement in Igarka is in the report. Capital investments in railway construction should make in 1950 - 310 thousand roubles, in 1951 - 644, 1952 - 760, 1953 - 516, 1954 - 439 and in 1955 - 353 thousand roubles.
Not less impressive investments should be into the construction of port too. Location of the Northern Directorate in settlement Abez, which was torn from the line, didn’t meet the requirements of building Directorates’ administration. That is why the Northern Directorate moved from settlement Abez, Komi ASSR, to Igarka, Kras-noyarsk territory, on a distance of 6300 km by the railway and waterways according to the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR from February, 5, 1949.
The Yenisei construction’s Directorate has settled down on absolutely new, unin-habited place, - in a settlement Yermakovo. There were neither buildings, nor roads, that’s why a formation of the structure began only after the first prisoners arriving at June, 1949. Already in June-July there the loading-unloading OLP (camp), the 1st building department, the central transit camp, building office and the central repair workshops have been organized.
At the same period the second building department in Yanov Stan, 145 km from Yermakovo, was organized, and a transfer post in village Turukhansk for supply it by building materials and a forage. In the beginning of September there Tazovsky OLP (camp) was organized in area of the river Taz as a reference point for works of 1950-th on the base of resources moved by Ob' and Taz’ gulfs from the liquidated divisions (units) in New Port and Stone Cape.
But the organizational changes of structure of Directorate have not stopped on this. It was even contrary. And in November, 1949, the GULZhDS’ order was issued about the Ob reformatory’ allot from the structure of the Northern Directorate and about the cessation of the Yenisei reformatory existence.
Since January, the 1st, 1950, the Northern Directorate of construction and camps had been transformed into the Northern Directorate of construction ¹ 503 with a loca-tion in a settlement Yermakovo on which the direct management of divisions’ building was laid. Reports not contain any motivations of such organizational changes. But it was the first time when there was the detailed characteristic of the road running. For example, the climatic characteristic is given and it is marked, that in Igarka “the local executive committee has established a number of limits on rigidity of a climate and ac-cording to them any works are not allowed”. As it was marked in the document, external works in Igarka aren’t made with temperature 45 degrees below zero without wind, 40 degrees below zero and a wind of 5 m/sec, 35 degrees below zero and a wind of 10 m/sec, etc., and on the line with the temperature 40 degrees below zero without a wind, 35 degrees below zero with a wind 5 m/sec etc. In all cases, irrespective of temperature, external works were stopped at a wind 22 m/sec. At air temperature from 25 degrees below zero without a wind and from 15 degrees below zero with a wind 10 m/sec and more there were breaks for heating by reduction of the working time.
Geological conditions were characterized as rather unfavourable: “the line passes on dusty loams and sandy loams or peats, which is strongly overmoistening or frozen and saturated with ice”. An existence of mounds blowing up, thermokarst gaps, marshy places on which peat bogs do not freeze even after a month of steady forty-degree frosts, - the main signs of the locality. There was marked the absence of a local build-ing materials. Conducting the construction complicated also the transport connections’ state. Material-technical supply of a line was made up to Krasnoyarsk, basically, by railway, and then loads were shifted and transported by the river Yenisei up to Yer-makovo or Igarka. By some reasons it wasn’t advantageous to use the rivers Taz and Turukhan. Air ways for transportation of goods couldn’t use too, they existed only for transfer small goods of extraordinary urgency, service travels, supply of prospecting parties and exploratory works.
The basic ways of a line and resources’ delivery were car winter roads lying along a line. That’s why the development of a line, “is possible, mainly, during a winter period, with all ensuing complications of improvement of habitation it and a life of builders, and also of the primary period of works manufacture”. The problem of loads advancement at the line has been named the one of a difficult problems of the railway builders because for construction of each its kilometer it was necessary delivering from three up to four thousand tons of various sort of loads, and it was without internal transportations from basic warehouses.
Delivery of resources was slowly conducted in 1949-th to Yermakovo and Igarka. YDSN (the Yenisei Directorate of a steam navigation - ÅÍÓÐÏ, Åíèñåéñêîå Óïðàâëåíèå ðå÷íîãî ïàðîõîäñòâà) has given for goods’ transportation only 3 spe-cially equipped barges and 1 lighter, there one more barge has been given in the end of navigation.
During navigation period (for June - September) it was directed the number of workers to construction: to Yermakovo - 16295 persons, to Yanov Stan - 4252, to Tu-rukhansk - 754, to Igarka - 6502.
By the end of the year the provision of the construction with resources was characterized by next form:
|¹ Name of resources||It was taken by the plan||It was in fact by the end of a year|
|1. All people including||36.235||33.493|
|• armed guard||2.561||1.772|
|4. Excavators 0, 5 cubic metres||14||14|
|6. Electric power station 30 kWatt and more||25||25|
|7. Electric power station 10-29 kW||8||8|
|8. Electric power station up to 10 kW||70||82|
|9. Locomobiles 120-125 horse powers||4||4|
|10. Locomobiles 50-70 hp||13||13|
|11. Locomobiles 20-49 hp||17||17|
|14. Concrete mixers||1||3|
|17. Railway locomotives of the narrow gauge||4||4|
|18. Carriages of the broad gauge||40||40|
Huge number of the equipment, mechanisms and various kinds of the transport were directly new from factories, except for 21 automobiles coming up to Taz’ camp from New Port and about 100 automobiles from a capital repairing from the Central Car Repairing Factory (CCRF - ÖÀÐÇ) in Svobodnoye and Abez, and 8 used locomobiles, but suitable for work.
The important question of construction was a state of the project-budget documentation. The decision of Council of Ministers of the USSR from January, 29, 1949 of survey and projecting of a railroad line was charged to Railway project GULZhDS of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR, and research and projecting of seaport and a complex of constructions with it was charged to Central administrative board of the Northern sea way (CABNSW) (ÃÓÑÌÏ) at a Council of Ministers of the USSR.
All project-prospecting works in the line Tchum-Salekhard-Igarka was coordinated by the Northern project-prospecting expedition. Two expeditions were involved in manufacture of field research at a part of a line of construction ¹ 503: the Yenisejskaya (from Igarka up to river Taz) and Nadymskaya (from river Taz up to river Nadym). For manufacture of prospecting works of seaport, a ship-repair factory and a settlement attached to them the GUSMP (ÃÓÑÌÏ) has organized the Northern project-prospecting expedition (NPPE - ÑÏÈÝ), in designing of them an Arctic project GUSMP was engaged in Moscow.
By the decision of Council of Ministers had been established terms of a handing the documentation: it was a technical project by the railway line - on March, 1, 1952, by seaport, a ship-repair factory and settlement in Igarka - offers by the choice of the loca-tion of seaport - on July, 1, 1949, project plan coordinated with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR - to August, 1, 1950, the technical project - to August, 1, 1951.
“Construction” started preparatory works a little bit earlier, than the prospecting groups had arrived on a place of research. But soon the Yenisei’ expedition send all forces to do prospecting works and has provided, basically, timely delivery a earthen structure section at the first 30 km of a line from the station Yermakovo in western direction.
There is also marked in the report, that for projects preparation of immediate ob-jects the construction has been compelled to organize in Igarka, and from 4-th quarter and in Yeniseisk reformatory, project bureaus which provided the project-budget docu-mentation and working drawings of all provisional constructions according contract with expedition GULGDS’ railway project and GUSMP. Project bureaus projected the Central workshops in Yermakovo, the Central workshops and the Thermal power station in Igarka, designing of camps, settlements for civilians. During 1950 the project bureau has done more than 500 working drawings. In 1949 there were “mainly primitive constructions in which projects were no superfluous details”.
The basic goals which were put before construction in 1949: to pour out 79 thou-sand cubic metre of an earthen section and to lay the first 30 kilometres of the main way from Yermakovo in the western direction, to construct a car winter road for deep delivery from Yermakovo up to Yanov Stan in winter of 1949-50, and later up to the river Taz, to construct 100 km of the main communication line towards Salekhard and to equip the Directorate with its divisions with radio and wire communication, to relocate the construction Directorate from the settlement Abez to Igarka, to organize the Yenisei reformatory administration in a settlement Yermakovo, to equip building area division in Igarka, to organize an office of supply in Krasnoyarsk for getting, keeping and sending loads of material, technical and food supply to the line.
Performance of the plan on the basic physical volumes was in brief characterized by next form: excavations on the main way were made in the western direction from Yermakovo where it was executed 30 thousand cubic metres, in an east direction from the station Makovskaya where it was executed 56 thousand cubic metres. Works of the line communication construction were executed more three times above the plan.
Construction of constant buildings was conducted only in Igarka. The acute shortage of dwelling induced developing this kind of the work. There was the construction of 6 constant four-flat and 13 eight-flat houses.
There were constantly technical problems before builders because of “exclusive complexity of geotechnical and meteorological conditions of the line”. For research works on construction of a railroad line of Tchum-Igarka in a settlement Abez the scien-tific research station has been organized in the first days of March, 1949. Studying of the scientific research questions provided by the program, began after the moving it to Igarka in June. The meteorological and permafrost station in Yermakovo began to work since August, and the same one began its work in Nadym since April (an aviation of the Northern expedition, served by these observations, made regular flights on a line Salekhard - Igarka). During 1949 these stations have made a number of serious works in studying an earthen embankment, over-icing phenomena in different parts of the line, of observations for the construction and exploitation of an river Ob’ ice crossing, of studying deformations of an earthen railway bed, etc. In the report it was marked also, there were made geotechnical inspections of 13 objects of the construction units in Igarka. According to materials of inspections the Directorate of the construction have projected and constructed the complex of civil buildings, constant camp settlement, the central electric power station, a mechanical-repair factory and other objects. Also the geotechnical inspection of five old buildings in Igarka was made with the purpose to ascertain a permafrost conditions.
There wasn’t executed the laying of a main way in Yeniseisk reformatory from the list of the basic works in 1949. Non-fulfilment the work quota was consequence of many problems which arose at the organization of construction on a new place.
As it was in the report, the pioneer group of the Yenisei reformatory Directorate leaders has arrived from Abez to settlement Yermakovo in the beginning of March, 1949. There were 8 small houses belonging local fish kolkhoz in settlement in this pe-riod. The tent was the basic kind of habitation and a workplace. The first 1488 workers, including 593 women, had arrived to Yermakovo on June, 17, and barges with loads arrived after them. Extremely difficult problem of settling people and barges unloading had appeared. The organization of people habitation and nutrition, household service, reception of new goods, lead out the people to work - all of this became the endlessly difficult problem. Difficulties with settlement were complicated with the proceeding stream of new goods which have soon transformed all narrow coastal zones by an extension of 6 km from a settlement Yermakovo up to the river Barabanikha to dense warehouses in which territory almost all people of the settlement concentrated continuously unloading and moved manually along and upwards accumulated goods.
“By former Yenisei reformatory it was made the reception of 22, 5 thousand people from camp contingent”.
There "the camp report" was also enclosed to accounting reports by 1949. And it was marked on the title page at the left above: “the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR Central camps administrative board of the railway construction. The Northern Directorate and the construction ¹ 503”, and below it was “town of Igarka, Krasnoyarsk territory”. The explanatory note to this document included the description of a condition of a camp regime and guard, household, food service and medical care, cultural-educational work. In summary “Execution of the estimate of incomes and charges of camps of the Northern Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR for 1949” marked the quantity of prisoners: 11.258 persons in compare with 9.522 persons as it was confirmed in the estimate.
There were watched many infringements in a condition of a camp regime and guard of prisoners. For example, there were 8 cases of camp gangsterism, 563 refuses from the work, 156 hooligan actions, 503 cases of kit squanderers, 329 thefts, 477 cases of gamblings, the facts of drunkenness, cohabitation, etc. 2238 persons were punished, among them 99 person was prosecuted. In 1949 60 prisoners ran, 54 run-aways are liquidated among them. There were 53 attempts to runaway.
It was also marked, that absence of experts, civilian working mechanisms and mo-tor transport service compelled the construction to use for this purpose the prisoners which had a qualification. Service of mechanisms by prisoners’ forces (by small groups of 3-5 persons) led to sharp increase of a guard limit. But a question of the prisoners disconvoying which had a qualification was difficult to decide because the basic struc-ture of a contingent was delivered from prisons in 1949, and it should be disconvoyed only after passing away the 2/3 of prison term. Besides this all divisions of the Northern Directorate were collected, basically, from prisoners which were not the subject to dis-convoy at all according to their crimes’ structure.
The guard personnel frequently supposed immoral offences. The facts resulted in the report, told us that not only private soldiers, supervisors beat prisoners, but also chiefs of militarized guard. So, major Guzin has been dismissed for the blow into a pris-oner’ face which was from self-guard, the senior supervisor Fountikov has been given to a court for regular prisoners’ beatings, the private soldier Solovyev is condemned for 1,5 years with imprisonment for prisoners’ beatings.
The characteristic of communal condition service confirms the data about many prisoners continued to live in tents and half-dug-outs during this period. By January, the 1st, 1950 camp divisions of construction for prisoners’ accommodation had 45 log buildings, 96 framework houses, 77 half-dug-outs, 27 warmed tents. In Igarka at this time there were 32 framework houses buildings, 5 warmed tents.
“In Igarka town, - it was emphasized in the report, - by January, the 1st, 1950 the special female camp had been constructed on 500 persons, and in anew building con-stant camp for men have been populated 12 big barracks with the volume of each at 2080 cubic metres”.
Almost all camp divisions of construction have been organized in a second part of 1949 on completely naked place, not having any buildings and overland roads for delivery of building materials. All of them were organized on the base of summer tents, and later they were raising objects of Temporary Civil Construction (VGS - ÂÃÑ). The most difficult conditions were in Yermakovo where camp construction was complicated by the big density of contingents in narrow territory and by the absence of roads from steep bank with all building materials on it. The part of prisoners was placed on continuous plank beds (nary) and had no fixed berths because of the big density.
Organization of a special contingent’ nutrition was being carried out in conditions of development of a line. The foodstuffs were delivered by a river transport to Igarka, to Yermakovo, to Ust-Vymskaya (59 km) and Turukhan (120 km). There were bases of supply in these points. Places for keeping were equipped with temporary sheds, shelv-ings at an open places and tents. The foodstuffs from bases to colonies and camps were delivered by all possible kinds of transport: burden horses, automobiles, tractors, but in some cases the foodstuffs were delivered by people.
The food was being distributed at kitchens to thermoses for each brigade 20 up to 30 persons in number and eaten by people (because of the dining rooms absence) in a room where they lived. A meal was being cooked according to special menus three times a day with established food norms. The assortment of cereals was various enough, but a meat, as a rule wet salted corned beef, was often poor-quality and de-manding permanent revision and special cooking. The assortment of a fish being deliv-ered from fish factories of the Krasnoyarsk state fish trust consisted of expensive kinds (sig (ñèã) and salmon).
The quantity of the arrived ware property (except valenki and mittens) was suffi-cient. But about 50 % of valenki (âàëåíêè, felt boots) were from 24 up to 27 sizes, and it was necessary to organize the points of the stretching of valenki till the necessary sizes. The valenki which had been stretched to two sizes higher lost stability in use. That's why up to 6 thousand pairs of valenki of the small sizes were accumulated on warehouses. “At the same time there were losses of workers because of incomplete providing with valenki”, - it was told in the report, - the scarcity of fur mittens also caused unproductive losses of a labour force. According to the accounting report for 1949 there were losses of workers because of an incomplete uniform in total 34.000 person/days or 0, 84 % of a list structure”. Running repairs of things on a line was being carried out directly in the colonies, but there was not enough quantity of strong threads and thick felt for sewing up valenki.
Medical care and cultural-educational work were characterized in the report
A work by a system of reckonings had a particular place in cultural-educational work among prisoners. According to the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR and the General Procurator of the USSR ¹ 00134/31-ss from February, 12, 1949 on prisoners of the Yenisei reformatory and the Northern Directorate some privi-leges had been spread for reckons of the working days. The proper instruction had been developed and put into operation for this purpose since March, 1, 1949. During the conducting reckons there was the serious explanatory work among prisoners about value of the governmental privileges and all forms of cultural-educational work were used for this: reports, conferences on output, wall newspapers, and obvious propa-ganda.
In connection with a liquidation of the Yenisei reformatory for a purpose of ap-proach of the staff of the Northern Directorate directly to objects of a railway line, the Northern Directorate had been shifted from Igarka to the settlement Yermakovo by a GULZhDS’ sanction since January, the 1st, 1950. Moving of the Directorate staff was being done by car-winter-road on the river Yenisei during January - March, 1950. The shifting was connected with the serious difficulties followed from sharp shortage of the dwelling space in Yermakovo. By force of it the Directorate staff moved from Igarka to Yermakovo without families. Only at the second half a year it became possible to trans-fer Directorate staff families from Igarka as settlement had been done in a Yermakovo.
The construction had conducted a number of organizational and operative actions for successful targets’ realization in January-April, 1950. The matter is that resources of a labour force, material, and building machinery have been concentrated in Igarka and Yermakovo to the beginning of 1950. On sections Yermakovo-the river Bludnaya and Yermakovo-Igarka car-winter-road have been made by the common length up to 300 km, and between Igarka and Yermakovo winter road lay along the Yenisei, and between Yermakovo and the river Bludnaya winter road run in part along the river Turukhan. In other part winter road laid on forest-tundra with deforestation, removing of a vegetative cover, construction of buildings. During January-March a number of the pioneer colonies on a line was opened and the shifting of a labour force was organized from Yermakovo and Igarka into anew opened linear colonies. It was open 29 such colonies. The organization of new linear colonies was carefully prepared, in the beginning the pioneer group in number of 50-60 people was sent to each colony, mainly, of carpenters, with a minimum resources and tents, and as far as primary equipment of the colony was done it was supplied with additional groups of a labour force. The pioneer groups went to nondeveloped parts of a line; people settled at open-air places and were independently equipped. The plan of capital investments of 1950 has defined reduction works’ amounts on construction in Igarka and excesses of the labour resources delivered by the plan of works of the 1949th; however export of an excessive labour force from Igarka was impossible because of severe climatic conditions.
The technical condition of the lines was seriously analyzed enough. So, about the main way it was told: “The part of lines of the settlement Yermakovo - transition of the river Turukhan started to develop from the second half of 1949 year. Development of this part was conducted from 3 points: from Yermakovo to siding on the river Bara-banikha, brook Medvezhiy, from transition of the river Turukhan to transition of the river Makovskaja. During the period since 1949 besides a pioneer developing of a line in the specified places on a zone of Yermakovo - a siding on the river Barabanikha, transition of the river Makovskaja - transition of the river Turukhan excavations have been started, and in the section of the Yermakovo - a siding on the river Barabanikha has been made the railway laying by extension of 14, 2 km.
The zone of the railway of the Yermakovo - a siding on the river Barabanikha laid during the winter period with the minimal amounts of works in spring of 1950 has de-manded significant expenses for its opening and activation.
By the plan of 1950 from the common extension of lying of a way of 150 km on a zone of Yermakovo - transition of the river Turukhan was subject to laying of 112 km, it is before transition of the river Makovskaya. The works on the specified part have been started from the beginning of June, 1950.
In an explanatory note to the annual accounting report about the work of construction ¹ 503 of 1951 there is given the characteristic of the organization of construction and its targets. In particular, it was paid attention that since December, the 1st, 1949, according to the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of USSR the Ob reformatory (construction ¹ 501) had been stood out as independent unit, and the problem of realization of construction of a railroad line on a part of Pour-Igarka by an extension of 590 km and construction of seaport with a ship-repair factory in Igarka was lay upon the Northern Directorate (construction ¹ 503) since January, 1, 1950. Since the same period the Northern Directorate of construction ¹ 503 was relocated to the settlement Yermakovo, Igarka region, Krasnoyarsk territory, on the left bank of the river Yenisei.
As a result of conducting works for 2,5 years, there was constructed the first turn of the permanent communication line from Igarka up to Pour, that allowed to provide already in 1951 an uninterrupted straight phone and telegraph communication of the construction’ Directorate with Moscow (through Salekhard), the laying of a railway from Igarka up to river Bolshaya an extension for 50,2 km, from Yermakovo up to a bridge transition through the river Taz an extension for 16,7 km and the beginning of develop-ment of the subsequent part of a laying of the main way by the plan of 1952 (Turukhan-Bludnaya).
In 1951 construction continued to be financed correspondingly to actual expendi-tures according to the decision of the government.
Construction in 1951 yet had neither the confirmed tech-project, nor the general estimate of the construction of a railroad line on a site Pour-Igarka and the construction of Igarka’s seaport and a ship-repair factory.
Projecting the line of Pour-Igarka was conducted by GULZhDS’ Railway project and a distribution of projects to construction was being provided by some parts. The Arctic project of the Main Northern Sea Way (GUSMP) was conducting the projecting of Igarka’s port; by the end of 1951 only the draft of the first turn of works of making a out-fall for ships staying up in a spring period of ice floating had been given to the construction. The projecting of temporary buildings and the constructions which were necessary for needs of construction till July, 1, 1951 according to the decision of Council of Ministers of the USSR about consolidation of the design organizations, has been handed over to Railway project of.
The Central Directorate has defined the following primary targets of the annual investment plan for 1951 of the construction:
It was marked at the characteristic of construction of artificial constructions, that construction of concrete abutments of bridges through the river Makovskaya, Bara-banikha and Sukhariha was conducted in such way that abutments have been com-pletely constructed. Movement by them is not open for the absence of metal cover structures. And the time of its' getting is not known yet. This problem should be consid-ered inessential as a part of a line in area of Sukhariha is temporarily closed.
The information on the maintenance of prisoners is rather faintly represented. In the chapter “Labour losses” it was marked, that in January at list structure of prisoners at 28395 persons labour losses were 9,02, death rate - 0,08 %; in February - 27817 - labour losses - 20,12, death rate - 0,03 %. Sharp reduction of a quantity of prisoners had taken place in August - 18346, and death rate - 0,06 %, in December the number became less - 14136, death rate - 0,02 %.
It is marked, that “the big lack is presence among prisoners of morbidity by an in-fectious hepatitis”. The morbidity began in February, 1951; this morbidity had not been recognized by a medical staff for a long time. In August the brigade had been invited from Krasnoyarsk institute of the Epidemiology and Microbiology for studying the cause of the morbidity at the place by bacteriological researches, and further this brigade consulting with other experts, had come to a conclusion that it was hepatitis.
The report says also that during three years prisoners have no fresh vegetables in their nutrition therefore there is a dryness of a skin è eruption. According to a medical examination of a contingent in 3-rd camp 5-8 % of a contingent have the phenomena of the beginning of the scurvy, and there were no more than 10 people in all camps with the scurvy sharply expressed.
The special place in the report was given to an educational work in particular there are the concrete examples of how the CVCh (Cultural-educational unit: ÊÂ× - Êóëüòóðíî-âîñïèòàòåëüíàÿ ÷àñòü) was influencing on prisoners, raising by means of conversations their labour productivity: “The brigade of navvies, the brigade-leader pris-oner Novikov N.T., birth of a 1927, an article the Decree from June, 4, 1947 term of 10 years (4th camp), has not executed a production program in November. Inspector of the Cultural educational unit tov. Litvinov has conducted the political conversation in this brigade on a theme “We'll help the cause of Peace by a selfless labour”, he helped the brigade to remove industrial lacks and as a result this brigade has executed a produc-tion task on 136 % for December.
In October, 1951, the camp ¹ 22 had received a task to make concrete supports of the bridge through the river Sukhariha. The brigade of the prisoner Nosov, a birth of the 1927, an article the Decree from June, 4, 1947 term of 7 years, working at this ob-ject did not execute the production targets. Inspector of the Cultural-educational unit of the camp tov. Khomenko has decided to do explanatory work more serious among all workers in this brigade, has conducted a few conversations with them, has taken them under his personal control, manufacture began to rise and reached 142-137 % some days. It has allowed to prisoner Nosov’s brigade to execute the monthly task for 124% and to camp as a whole to finish concrete supports in the terms established by the plan”.
“Industrial - mass” work - such concept infrequently is met in similar reports. What stands up for it? “Mobilization of prisoners” to a fulfilment before the term of the main industrial tasks of 1951. In second half-year 1951 a labour competition has been widely developed between divisions, workshops, brigades, sections and some prisoners for a fulfilment ahead of time schedule of the plan of each month, quarter and in the whole 1951. Results of competition were monthly summed up at sessions of staffs of labour competition of camps and all prisoners were informed about it on general meetings and production conferences.
At the same meetings as a rule new labour obligations are discussed and ac-cepted. Only in the second camp department there were conducted 13 general meet-ings of prisoners, 245 assemblies of brigades for the accounting period. Such assem-blies pass always briskly: prisoners tell about how they worked, about different lacks which disturb their work and they undertake the labour obligations.
But individual educational work among the prisoners, who do not execute stan-dards of the plan, did not satisfy an administration. It was marked, for example, that for 2nd half-year there were the 2595 person/days refusals of work, in that number for quar-ters: 3-rd quarter - 1580, 4-th - 1015. “Thus, in 4-th quarter we have significant reduction of men who refused”, - is spoken in the report. Presence of refusals from work is the big lack of work of the Cultural-educational department - Cultural-educational unit (ÊÂÎ-ÊÂ×). Till now preventive work is poorly conducting, individual educational work is insufficiently conducted among refusalists. Cultural-educational departments - Cultural-educational units (ÊÂÎ-ÊÂ×) in struggle with the objectors conducted the following work: individual and group conversations on themes: “Rights and duties of prisoners», «The Measures of punishment are applying to the objectors". There have organized the public influence to the objectors through a wall seal, satirical bulletins and evident propaganda. As a result of this work some from the objectors became good workers. The prisoners Alyoshin A. A., a birth of 1916, an article the Decree from June, 4, 1947, term of 7 years, and Tuzov V. S., 1931 of a birth, an article the Decree from June, 4, 1947, term of 12 years, were refusing of the work during a long time, and now they work. Prisoner Pavlovskiy V. I., a birth of the 1930, an article the Decree from June, 4, 1947, term of 7 years, was breaking the regime earlier, was simulating on a work, now he has no infringements.
They didn’t forget and about cultural - mass work in 1951. In total at the construc-tion there were 22 camps, including 2 infirmaries. Also camps had 12 clubs-dining houses (êëóá-ñòîëîâàÿ), 13 cultural points (êóëüòóãîëîê).
All cultural points are placed in rooms specially allotted for these purposes, are ar-tistically designed by portraits of heads of the Party and the Government, by arranging pictures (collage) and slogans; they have the literature enough, the chess, checkers, dominoes, musical instruments. For example, cultural point of the camp ¹ 13 is placed in the separate house of 16-20 m2. There are portraits of Lenin, Stalin on a forward wall, on the right wall - there is an arranging picture “Great constructions of communism”, on the left one - arranging picture “Physiologist Pavlov” and “the Structure of the Earth”, and there are some slogans and placards, 4 sets of chess, 4 sets checkers, and 4 sets of dominoes.
The detailed characteristic of a course of construction is given in the annual report of the capital investments of Obsky reformatory and constructions ¹ 501 Ministries of Internal Affairs for 1952. In particular, it was marked, that for this period it had been laid the 252 km of a railway of, including the area of the river Taz - the 17 km, the area of the river Bludnaya - Yermakovo - 172 km, and the area of the town of Igarka - 60 km. The one section of the locomotive depot was constructed at the station Yermakovo. The organizational structure of the construction has undergone a number of changes again. By industrial necessity a number of camps are liquidated, including the transit camp in Yermakovo. The detailed characteristic is given of a dislocation of all working divisions of construction ¹ 501 up to the beginning of 1953 (with the indication of the camps, its locations, an industrial profile and a staff of prisoners) in the report
The main tasks at the zone of Pour-Igarka, which was a part of the construction nr 503 structure during first nine months of 1952, were the following. It was the laying the 30 km of the main way of on a zone Turukhan-Bludnaya, putting into exploitation the 2000 sq. m dwelling area in houses of constant type, the ending of the construction of all household (communal facilities) buildings and camps with finishing the dwelling area up to 1, 5 sq. m on them for one prisoner and for one soldier - up to 4, 0 sq. m. However “improvement of living conditions” did not mean in any way, that the construction had gone uphill. It was on the contrary. The primary plan of capital investments for a zone of Pour-Igarka (the former part of the construction 503) of the 1952 had been confirmed of the GULZhDS the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the sum of 211 million roubles, but it was reduced up to 189, 9 million roubles in the end of the 3rd quarter of the 1952. Paces of the construction were being weakened.
By the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR from July, 21, 1952 “About measures of reduction of the price of the railroad line construction of Tchum-Salekhard-Igarka” it was offered the following: to liquidate the Northern Directorate and the construction ¹ 503 of the Ministries of Internal Affairs of the USSR since the 1 of October 1952, and to assign a guidance of the construction of a line of Tchum-Salekhard-Igarka with ferries through the rivers the Ob and the Yenisei, the construction of port in area of Igarka and ship-repair workshops with inhabited settlement near the port to the Directorate of the construction ¹ 501 of Ministries of Internal Affairs.
To the beginning of 1953 there were 800 km of a way in the temporary exploita-tion, 630 km from which were in a zone of Tchum-Pour and 169 km were in a zone Pour-Igarka. The unfolding length of the main ways was the 216,8 km and the length of stations railways was the 32,7 km. In the total extension of the ways, as was marked in the report, there were 99 acting points (switch transitions). Also there were 277 artificial constructions and 86 of them were temporary. Rails continued to be in an unsatisfactory condition, as the most part of them was very old with the service period over 30 years. Available park of steam locomotives consisted of 40 units of a series of "3" and 16 units of a series "0", the number of carriages were 262 (Ministries of Railways) and 1354 (GUZhDS).
The explanatory note to the accounting report of the Directorate of construction ¹ 501 for 1953 had already the name “Liquidation of construction of a railroad line on a part of Salekhard - Igarka”. At the end of March, 1953, the telegraphic instruction from GUZhDS was received about the suspending (temporary closing-down) of the construction of a railroad line on the area between Salekhard and Igarka. Works on the specified section of the construction had been immediately stopped, excepting those objects which had high percent of a readiness where final works were being continued during some time.
On May, 26, 1953 the decision of the government on liquidation of the construction of a railroad line on a site Salekhard - Igarka had been followed. According to this decision all of the civil and erection works had been stopped and the liquidation of the resources in camps and on bases of Salekhard and Yermakovo began.
Term of the liquidation had been established on September, 1, 1953. But it was impossible to fulfil this condition because of remoteness of bases, of the restriction of the terms of exporting the loads only during the navigation period and other circum-stances.
Export of values, it was marked in the same report, was complicated because many resources were on the long distance from the railway. Exploitation of a road had been al-ready prohibited by the decision of the government about liquidation of the construction, and the transportation of goods, for example, on a part Bludnaya-Yermakovo-Turukhan had been impossible just for this reason. Besides there were not being carried out any works of restoration and the current maintenance of a way, therefore movement of trains became impossible not only for steam locomotives, but also for motor-carts and even trolleys. As consequence of it, a part of loads, the least transportable (timber, coal, a brick, firewood, furniture, etc.) had not been taken out from the line.
Liquidation Committee had composed calculations of the cost of export of the val-ues had been left on a line in comparison to pricelists. Calculations confirmed unprofit-ableness the exporting of the specified values. Thus, a part of values an export of which was unprofitable was subject to write-off at a place. Alongside with it “by force of unprofitableness and a road-off” there hadn't been taken out the railway rolling stock of a broad gauge: 2 steam locomotives, 22 carriages and 1 motor-cart on a part of Turuk-han-Bludnaya, 4 steam locomotives and 65 carriages were at the Taz.
During the liquidation of building divisions on a line the buildings were temporarily preserved. First time there had been outposts, but it was recognized uneconomical later. Attempts to hand over the empty small towns (settlements near camps) of the construction to local executive committees in July-August had not any results. In Igarka, for example, local executive committee has not accepted the empty small towns of the construction located within the city limits. Settlements in Yermakovo, in Koster, Turukhan, Nadym and in a number of other places had not been handed over too. The decision of the government about the reception by local executive committees of all not handed over buildings had followed only on November, 10, 1953. But also up to the end of the year this decision had not been executed by local executive committees and transferring of buildings was put off till next year again.
The significant amount of values was on the east part of the construction, on the section Yermakovo-Igarka. Because of the close location of the Norilsk Plant, it had been solved to hand over a part of values to it. The group of the Norilsk Plant employ-ees was invited to Yermakovo in June and conducted a selection of values for the sum up to 100 million roubles. But dispatch of the values was delayed till the September - so long time the coordination about transfer of values passed through the Government. Local trading organizations had refused from the reception of the wares (the reason was not underlined). It is no wonder, that in summer many food products had gone bad. GULAG (the Central Directorate of the camps) was carrying out searches of points of selling but Norilsk and Krasnoyarsk have refused from it. Complaints, then searches of the cooperative enterprises began, including Igarka too. The sum of realization of the goods of both “plan and trade” prescriptions impresses: 47 million roubles. All buyers had additional expenses to export of the wares from the North to destination places.
In 1953 it was realizing and transferred values by the sum 469,5 million roubles, including commodity-material values on 129,5 million roubles. For January, 1, 1954 it was remained values for realization and handing over for the sum 595 million roubles. For January, 1, 1954 the uncompleted capital construction had been stopped because of the liquidation formed the sum of 1.766.621 thousand roubles.
The liquidated construction, undoubtedly, had damaged the national economy, but you would not find corresponding figures in reports. But there is a data, for example, about what the expenses for liquidation of the construction were. It was spent almost 78 million roubles in 1953.
That fact pays attention that only in the reports of 1953 it is admitted that to project and build the road of Tchum-Salekhard-Igarka it was planned by technical specifications which were confirmed by the Decision of Council of Ministers of the USSR from April, 22, 1947 for ¹ 1255-331. In particular, in it is spoken that it is planned “to project and build the road as the single-track railway of the pioneer type of the normal gauge according to the facile technical conditions”.
To make conclusions about a state of the road to the moment of its liquidation, and also, as a whole, about correctness of the decision of its suspending (freeze), the analysis of specialists is necessary first of all. Reports can give them a fine opportunity for this purpose.
As a whole, the history of the construction of the neglected road in the course of time attracts the greater and greater number of people of different professions. Each of them has his own point of view, own interest. Probably the more multilateral will be the research of a history of Dead road; the better will be a result. It is important that objec-tivity, an actual base did not digress to the second plan to please anybody’s emotions and political partiality.