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Old 02-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #3481
Tony P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
They are building a rail line to Yakutsk now, at great expense. It is not meant to be a quiet branch line. The Western BAM will form part of the main rail link to one of Russia's wealthiest cities.
At the same time occasional official talk continues of extending the Kolyma Highway ('Road of Bones' between Yakutsk to Magadan) north east to Anadyr and on through an undersea tunnel to Alaska.

Why not a rail line too?
But I doubt I will be doing much riding by the time that might ever happen !
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:16 AM   #3482
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thanks for the other angle on the bridge gap, and the explanation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
If that happens then riders will be very much dependent on the old service road, which between Taksimo and Yuktali, no-one seems to care about too much when it comes to maintenance.
is there even a priority to have a service road at all? as opposed to transporting service/maintenance/construction vehicles on the rail itself.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:18 AM   #3483
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Cool. I just figured out I can hold my breath for 1:13. I swear to God I didn't breathe through that whole video. You guys is AWESOME!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:22 AM   #3484
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Originally Posted by K88 View Post
Link doubled up - try this.

PS: Can anyone provide a translation of what Iker is saying when he crosses these bridges? Please?
Okay, I'll take a stab. (Except for the Basque expressions-I don't know Basque.)

Before mounting:
"It is difficult. Going on top is really hard, going on the lower part with the panniers-I donít know. On top, it is really really complicated! Letís hope the train doesnít come. I put my hands on the rail to see if there was no vibrations. Itís not coming."

Riding on the bridge:
"Huaa! This is really narrow my friends-there is oil and it is slippery! On the lower part it is more secure and slower, but I would have to remove the panniers and I donít want to do that. Joder! (this is like saying God damn! Or F*ck!) This is worst than Vitim. Damn! (some yelling of Basque expression) Yeehaaaa! No train, no riding on bottom and no removing of the panniers!"

As he dismounts:
"Iím looking at it with out adrenaline now and it is not so bad. Yeehaaa! (fist in the air)."

As he rides on:
"Today Iím thinking of a lot of people in the Bam. Really, Iím thinking of a lot of people: My friends (goes on to name some friends) and my family! Many times I have adrenaline and my heart to the max! Sends his love to them and yells some Basque expression) and then Yeehaaaa!!!"


The interesting thing about Iker's narrations is his enthusiasm-- It's off the charts! And his narrations are in the moment and makes you feel that you are with him. He is always saying: "my friends, you are with me."

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #3485
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Iker, we know the true older generation of Basque can still give the "Basque war/attack '' YELL. I have heard such a spine tingling yell from two Basque ladies in Pinedale, Wyoming. I shall never forget it!!

Maybe Iker , since we have heard your conversations on the bridges , we could all get you to video your self on that 990 giving the "Basque yell" .. what say ye???

Walter, kinda glad you were not my history teacher , I may not have enjoyed 39 years of teaching/coaching. AWESOME!!! or awful ,right Christian!!

gale
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #3486
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Crossing the Kuanda River with cars

You just got to love the Russian practicality

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:37 AM   #3487
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Novaya Chara

As we got close to Novaya Chara we met these guys. They had some small problem with their bike. When we left them they still had the problem




We got some food and checked in to Novaya Charas finest. Sometimes I don't know what is best; hotel or tent




One good thing when being on a trip like this is that you really appreciate your own bathroom. You don't have to wear your sandals in the shower and you actually dare to sit down when taking a dump. Not being afraid of catching something with a long and difficult latin name




That said mind you, I am not complaining. Just observing the facts. We got beds and a few beers. Life was good

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #3488
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A solution to vehicles on rail bridges? We have two such bridges in New Zealand. Note the "Give way" sign!
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #3489
EtronX
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Wink Upper Angara River crossing

I am sorry that I am a bit behind with the videos. This clip happened a few days ago from where we are now in the story. It was our first attempt at a major river crossing and our first crossing using a rail road bridge

Trans Sibir eXpedition 2012 Crossing of the Angara River from EtronX on Vimeo.

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:51 AM   #3490
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Originally Posted by EtronX View Post
You just got to love the Russian practicality
carpool lane?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:20 PM   #3491
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Originally Posted by cgvaughan View Post
Highly recommend it to anyone! Outstanding trip!
I second that notion Craig it was an Outstanding Trip and Iíd highly recommend it to everyone, and no reason why more ladies canít tackle the BAM itís a fantastic adventure if you love off-road riding
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #3492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamirski View Post
.....

The major obstacle on the western BAM seems to me not the Kuanda bridge, as this one has alternatives, but the Oljokma bridge. The river is bigger than Kuanda and I think even than Witim. Therefore you have no alternative by truck (only in winter). We'll see how they get over it this year
Yes you are right, I was mistaken with the river name, I wrote about the bridge on the Olyokma River.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:36 PM   #3493
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamirski View Post
That's an interesting thought, although when I went along the BAM I feared the opposite: that the BAM would be closed down (after all the investments done, this would not be easy to justify politically). But that's just a personal impression when you see the dying villages. They mostly only exist because the railway is there. Most people I met were working for the railway. There are some mining sites, but not enough to justify the BAM. I don't know how important it is for the goods transport over long distances, though you see a lot of wood carried arround.
Interestingly people around Yakutsk were not only happy about the new line (taxi drivers of course), some said it was only built to extract the wealth of Yakutia.
Its totally about the wealth of Yakutia ... Poor regions dont get rail lines built to them ... Tuva is a good example. Yakutia is full of minerals, and unless you get it out, then those minerals do not translate into wealth. Infrastructure projects are totally connected with wealth generation.

BAM itself is not yet economically viable, but it wasnt really built to be. That may change as new mining projects come on stream. Just south of Chara is one of the largest untapped copper deposits on earth, Udokan. Also Russia's largest titanium mine is 60 km south of Chara. Its also the worlds largest source of Vanadium. Its all got to come out.

So the future prospects are that the Western BAM will be increasingly economically viable as rising commodity prices have made turning these deposits into mines a reality.

But the BAM as a whole is more than about economics. Its a strategic infrastructure backup. Russia's only viable threat of invasion would come from China. The Trans Siberian railway (the most important piece of transport infrastructure in Siberia) is dangerously close to the Chinese border for huge sections of its length. Someone like China could cut the country in two by blocking 2 railway tracks often less than 30 km from their border. Thats why the BAM was built in the first place. To have a trans-national rail link that was about 500 km away from the Chinese border. Its also why the key rail bridges on the BAM are still guarded. The BAM railway is a key part of the national security infrastructure.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #3494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentsteel53 View Post
is there even a priority to have a service road at all? as opposed to transporting service/maintenance/construction vehicles on the rail itself.
No. The service road is not a priority which is why most of it (particularly bridges) is not maintained.

It was built to support the building of the railway in the 1970s and 1980s. Now the railway is built, the bulk of service, maintenance work is done via rail vehicles. The road is not that relevant.

But you do still see a few railways owned trucks on those "roads".
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #3495
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EtronX View Post
Geir, love your taste in music that you use with your videos.
A bit of Jimmy never goes astray.
Well done mate.
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