OPALEV M.N. Construction and Operation of Railway Bridges and Ferries in the Lower Volga Streamflow (End of 19th – First Half of 20th Century)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2014.2.7

Opalev Maksim Nikolaevich

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of Social and Humanitarian Disciplines,

Volzhsky Polytechnical Institute (Branch) of Volgograd State Technical University

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Engelsa St., 42a, 404130 Volzhsky, Russian Federation


Abstract. The article deals with the history of operation of Russia’s first railway ferry and the process of bridge construction across the lower Volga streamflows at Ryazan-Ural (now Volga) railway line in Saratov, Stalingrad (Volgograd) and Astrakhan. River railway ferries “Saratovskaya pereprava” and “Saratovsky ledokol” were built in 1894 in England and water crafts “Vtoraya pereprava” (1909) and “Stalin” (1926) were floated out in Volga in Nizhny Novgorod, from the Sormov plant.
As a rule, the organization of transportations by means of steam locomotives and waggons through Volga during the first half of the 20th century preceded the construction of capital metal railway bridges, such as Astrakhan (1909) and Saratov (1935), and also a combined railway-automobile bridge through the Volga (Stalingrad) Hydro-Electric Power Station (1961).
The article is devoted not only to the technical features of ferries, bridges, but their efficient use in peace time and war time. So, the carrying capacity of the Saratov railway ferry increased in more than three times from 1907 to 1916.
The Ryazan-Ural railway ferries were actively used by new Bolshevist regime. After the railroad construction on the left bank of Volga in autumn and winter of 1941, railway ferries “Stalin” and “Saratovskaya pereprava” were used for the carriage of military trains and population evacuation from the western bank of Volga. The author describes one of the most heroic and tragic facts in the history of Stalingrad battle using the example of the special operation railway ferry flooding and its consequent reconstruction.
Key words: Volga river, Ryazan-Ural railway line, railway ferry, transportation, technical features, caisson box, cargo turn-over.

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Construction and Operation of Railway Bridges and Ferries in the Lower Volga Streamflow (End of 19th – First Half of 20th Century) by Opalev M.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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