The International Steam Pages

Steam in Southern and Eastern Russia, 2016-17

Richard Brown sent me a list of news items about this area in December 2015 and a January 2016 update. These are further updates for May, July, September and December 2016, February 2017 and April 2017..

UK citizens should note that while Tikhoretsk is not 'listed' by the Foreign Office although visitors should check the status of places mentioned below before travelling there.

This is the April 2017 update:

At the beginning of March, loco (Kriegslok) TE-322 was transported to Tikhoretsk for restoration to working order. It last worked in 2002.

Work continues on SU252-20. Valve chests and cylinders are all being bored to make good damage done by precipitation over the 30 years it was out in the open.

On 20th March 2017, LV-0123 was on jacks with freshly turned tyres underneath.

The overhaul of L-4372 from Perm was recently completed. It has now left Tikhoretsk.

Er739-99 and L-0073 left Tikhoretsk with the local Victory Train on a tour to Makhachkala - Grozny - Prohladnaya - Nazran - Vladikavkaz - Nalchik - Pyatigorsk - Cherkessk from 3rd to 13th April 2017:

P36-0110 is in the final stages of overhaul. Painting is nearly complete. It will be green with red stripes. P36-0147 will be the next P36 to be overhauled and also possibly the last.

This is the February 2017 update:

P36-0110 has been test steamed but has yet to be painted. It will be painted green with red stripes. The next P36 to be overhauled at Tikhoretsk is 0147.

The appearance of EY709-84 and SO17-2724 at Tikhoretsk (with others) from Rostov Museum, reported in December, was for their annual boiler exam. Apparently all locos from the Museum are still on the Railway's books, so most are potentially, at least, candidates for restoration to working order. SO17-2724 was restored way back in 1992: 

but I've never seen any evidence that it was subsequently steamed. I say most because some, like L-0029, have tyres that are too thin.

Another SU has arrived at Tikhoretsk, SU250-74 from St Petersburg. It was last in the Krasnodar area in 1992: 

It was stored for a long time in Sergach and St Petersburg.

It's condition on arrival at St. Petersburg was poor, essentially equating to Barry condition but largely complete. It has received a new cab and boiler cladding but will now be dismantled for restoration to working order.

Work continues on SU252-20. Currently the valve chests and cylinders are being bored.

This is the December 2016 update:

L-5282 has returned to Tikhoretsk from Crimea (along presumably with L-2055). 

SO18-2018 has had a new front tubeplate fitted and has been converted to coal firing. It appears to be finished but is still at Tikhoretsk. 

SU252-20 is having a new cab fitted. Cladding has been trial fitted to the boiler barrel. For some reason, progress seems to have slowed. The tender appears to be finished, including painting. 

L-0074 has been conserved with a coat of paint. 

EY709-84 is at Tikhorestsk (from Rostov Museum), which might mean that it is to be restored to working order. 

Work continues on P36-0110 and P36-0218 has just been repainted: 

This is the September 2016 update:

An epic journey was made from the Far East of Russia to rescue US-built YeA and YeM 2-10-0 locomotives over last Winter. All were 100% complete except for YeA-2735 which lacked a grate and one injector.

These included YeA-2577 (for the museum in Chelyabinsk), YeA-2735 (Samara Museum), YeA-3113 (Yekaterinburg Museum), YeA-3560 (St Petersburg Museum), YeM-3747 (restoration to working order at Tikhoretsk), YeM-3753 (for repair to working order at Troitsk and return to Komsolmolsk) and YeM-4239 (for restoration and to Rostov Museum). The quality of repairs at Troitsk is apparently not rated highly by Tikhoretsk! The train also included a 1940 coach as crew car (with generator, coal-fired stove and even TV!) which was originally built as an ambulance carriage; this will be restored and displayed in Rostov Museum.

The journey started in Komsomolsk-on-Amurr (13th December 2015), then via Urgal, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk (3rd January 2016), Chelyabinsk where YeA-2577, YeA-2735 and YeM-3753 were dropped off (6th January 2016). YeA-3113 was left in Yekaterinburg (8th January 2016). Then to Ufa and Syzran where YeA-3560 was dropped off (11th January 2016). Tikhoretsk was reached on 15th January 2016.

At Tikhoretsk, LV-0123 has arrived in a very rusty state from Shumkova reserve base, Sverdlovsk, for restoration to full working order. LV-0233 is on jacks with all drivers removed for scheduled maintenance.

This is the July 2016 update.

A new working steam museum is to be established in Chita in the east of Russia, on the Trans-Siberian. This is a possible destination of P36-0110 (under restoration at Tikhoretsk). Tikhoretsk has also just received three further locos for restoration to working order for this museum, ER-750-10, ER-743-31 & EU-713-31. The latter three had been stored in the open at Rostov for 20 years without any movement but arrived at Tikhoretsk by rail without any problems!

P36-0120 has recently returned to Tikhoretsk for repairs, again! L-2055 has been converted to coal firing although it's not clear when this occurred. L-2055 & L-5282 are still in Crimea. L-5282 is still oil-fired but seems to have a new oil tank!

Work continues at Tikhoretsk on SO18-2018 & SU-252-20. Work on the firebox of the latter appears to be complete. Work on P36-0110 has yet to start.

L-4253 recently restored to working order at Troitsk, is being used for the steam trips around Lake Baikal: 

P36-0027 is finished and left for St. Petersburg (via Moscow) on 30th March, towed with connecting rods off. It is likely to stay in Moscow until the 9th May celebrations. P36-0110 from Mogzon is the next P36 to be restored to working order, with possibly another to follow. P36-0110 is already on its way to Tikhoretsk:

The ground lathe installation at Tikhoretsk is now complete. P36-0120 returned to Tikhoretsk in March along with LV-0182 for tyre turning. There are uncomplimentary comments locally about the footplate staff in Moscow concerning the frequency of the requirement for tyreturning to be done. This would seem to be a serious problem considering that Russian Railways don't currently have the capability to replace large tyres.

SO18-2018 is also at Tikhoretsk for repair, again with negative comments about the St Petersburg footplate staff. There was a damaged piece of the motion that cannot be repaired.

Work continues on SU252-20. The time allotted for restoration is half that for the FD. The reason: it is half the size!

The mystery of L-2055's disappearance is solved. Apparently it was in the Kyrgyz Republic but I'm not sure why. L-5282 was also there in 2015. The Kyrgyz Republic has only 370km of track. The same pair left for Crimea in early April, presumably in a bid to promote tourism. They were shipped on the ferry to Kerch.

Troitsk, much further east, in the Chelyabinsk Oblast, is another depot that repairs steam locomotives. It took over this task from Zlatoust in 2006. Working locomotives include P36-0031, L-4429 and LV-0165. Troitsk recently completed the restoration to working order of L-4253. This loco was used as a stationary boiler at Zlatoust: 
and seven years later was in a reserve base in the Buryat Republic: 
It arrived in Troitsk in 2014 in a poor state: 
but after restoration: 
it left at the end of March: 

Rob Dickinson