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Tynda and the BAM

Sometimes the blogs are right!

sunny 27 °C
View Back in the USSR on MikeinCairns's travel map.

Tynda is a significant town in Siberia as the centre for the BAM railway - the northern alternative to the TransSiberian. From the internet:

The BAM was built so that a link would remain between Moscow and the Pacific Coast if the Trans-Siberian Railway should fall into Chinese hands. Between the 1930s and 1950s 150,000 concentration camp victims died during its construction. After Stalin’s death it was abandoned unfinished for twenty years until in the 1970s Brezhev recommenced work on it, hailing it as “the construction project of the century” and drawing workers from all over the USSR. People came and lived in tents in the virgin wilderness the railway was crawling its way across until cabins were brought and eventually small towns built around the railroad to accommodate its workers.

In 1991 the railway was completed just as the Soviet Union collapsed. Funding for the area’s mines, towns and the railway itself became scarce. Many of the former BAM workers left the area, leaving many of the towns that had been built specifically for them completely deserted, as they remain today. It has only a single set of rails, so only one train can run on it at a time. Due to how little the BAM is used today, the 150,000 people who died building it, the large number of ghost towns along its length and the US$14 billion expended on its construction, it is generally regarded as one of the biggest wastes of time, money and lives ever.

All the blogs suggested Tynda was the areshole of Russia - but I thought we should give it the benifit of the doubt. So we booked 2 nights at the Safari Hotel just accross the river from the massive Tynda railway station (yes - African safari theme hotel in centre of Siberia!).

The hotel is pretty good, huge rooms, fridge, comfy beds ($60 per night). But to be honest - it is the only hotel in town so no competition. We had a nice breakfast of porrige and pancakes ($4 for two).

We thought we could occupy a day visiting the BAM museum but it was closed. We thought we would enjoy walking around a rural town for a few hours, but it was boring and just full of ugly Soviet style concrete apartments, left over from the BAM workers. We thought we would get a good meal in one of the few restaurants (actually an Armenian restraunt), but it was awful.

So - in summary - the blogs are right. Dont get stuck in Tynda for any reason!



One highlight was that we tried the famous Kvass. We have seen it everywhere for sale, so thought we'd give it a go. Not too bad!


A disappointing star.png 1 star day

Posted by MikeinCairns 05:01 Archived in Russia

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How come? Tynda, of all destinations...Good for you!

by Vic_IV

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