The history of Bamtonnelstroy inseparably linked with the construction of the Baykal-Amur Railroad. The necessity of the railway construction parallel to the Trans-Siberian Railway was first talked about in 1924. It was necessary to build the way, remote from Chinese boundary to provide connection with the Far East in case of military operations. Moreover, according to designers of projects, the railway could cooperate on developing of remote Siberian regions where a third of Russian natural resources is concentrated.
In 1937 the decision to construct the railway was made. Rail placing which were to connect trunk-railway to come with the Trans-Siberian Railway was started. But the Great Patriotic war began… The country lived and worked on the principle "Everything for the front, everything for the Victory!" In 1941 the rail was disassembled and used for the railway construction along the Volga. The construction of Baykal-Amur Railroad was continued only in 1974. The military men had the concluded statement in proving the necessity of renewal of the construction.
The political struggle with China on the subject of the Damansky Island and other political friction showed that Trans-Siberian Railway is highly vulnerable from the point of strategy. The road remote 400-600 km away from the boundary was essential. The project of the northern Trans-Siberian Railway contained railway path tracing in the highlands including crossing 6 high mountain ridges, and that respectively demanded construction of tunnels. It was decided to build 11 underground tunnels.
In January 9, 1975 under order № 12 of the transport construction department the "Construction administration Bamtonnelstroy" was organized for tunnel construction on Baykal-Amur Railway. This day is considered to be the birthday of the group of courageous people, hardworking, and capable of working in the most extreme conditions. The following 30-year story proved the outstanding historic mission of this collective.
Going back to the past, it is necessary to mention that there were 8 tunnel divisions working along the entire constructing railroad in the management personnel. The facilities were constructing in impassible woods far away from communications, in extreme mining and geological conditions. Tunnel divisions were cutting down trees, constructing buildings and roads to the industrial facilities, equipping settlements with modern services and utilities in all weather conditions, overcoming incredible difficulties.
In 1979 on the line Bam-Tynda-Berkakit the single-track Nagorniy tunnel (1352m) was put into operation. The builders rejoiced. The first steps of the civilizations appeared in centuries-long taiga. 6 years later in 1985 another tunnel, Baikal tunnel, was put into operation. It goes under the pass Davan, Baikal mountain ridge, and crosses the boundary of Buryatiya and Irkutsk region. The main tunnel is 6687m long, but the builders had to overcome 14328 m in order to construct it. Then one by one were 4 Mysovoy double-track railway tunnels raised, Codar single-track tunnel, situated in Chita region, and finally the longest tunnel in Russia - Severomuisk (15343 m).
The construction of the Severomuisk tunnel started in 1976. It was named after the Severomuisk mountain ridge in Buryatiya, the tunnel goes through this ridge. Among all known tunnels Severomuisk tunnel is not only the longest, but also the most complicated one, because its greater part is situated in the zone of tectonic break. According to designing engineers, it was incredibly complicated task to build the tunnel in this place. Severomuisk tunnel was a unique one in Russian construction. It was to solve the important strategic Baykal-Amur Railway problem of organization of traffic along the shortest way with minimum time losses. Before the tunnel was begun to exploit, the traffic on this part of road was organized by means of a detour, an extremely complicated construction with the length of 62km.
The detour consisted of various steep streamers and high viaducts, including the famous "Devil's bridge". The complicated relief forced trains to go through mountains, moving with maximum speed of 20 km per hour. On the rises trains demanded extra engines to move. Certainly, the tunnel was extremely important on this part of road - it was safe and short and allowed 2 trains to move easily. But its construction was about to stop.
When in 1984 there was a space survey and it became obvious that the tunnel crossed 4 regional breaks. The biggest one was 800m. It was necessary to strengthen the walls of tunnel and protect them from underground water destroying the constructions. In that time such technologies were unknown not only in Siberia, but also in the whole country. The management of "Bamtonnelstroy" JSC made an extraordinary decision to provide the tunnel with the most progressive technologies from the USA, Germany, Finland, Japan and France. It certainly lightened the builders' work. Nevertheless, all the attempts to overcome the mountain ridge and to improve the equipment were made by Russian engineers. Severomuisk became the proving ground not only for the newest foreign, but also Russian tunnel technologies.
Only those working in Severomuisk know the worth of this tunnel. Experienced in the extreme Siberian conditions, these people overcame the strength of stone. On the blisteringly cold day in December 2003 first trains came along the Severomuisk tunnel. It was an outstanding finishing point in the construction of Baykal-Amur Railroad. Thanks to new construction, traffic on Trans-Siberian Railroad increased by 2.5 times. Thanks to 15 km part of the railroad it became possible to reach ore Chineisky deposit and copper Udokansky and Kaltuginsky deposits. Thanks to the unique underground tunnel Russian people announced that they could construct where no one ever did. There are 10 tunnels along the Baykal-Amur Railroad altogether; 70km were overcome for them. The linkage is 4 times more precise than allowed.
Gradually as the construction of tunnels on Baykal-Amur Railroad line was going to be finished, the subdivisions of "Bamtonnelstroy" JSC began the underground constructions all over the USSR. The Bamtonnelstroy constructors' unique experience became in great demand. The Rachinsk tunnel 954 m long on the line Arkhara-Bira of the Far East Railroad was built in 3-year period and was put into operation in 1990. In December 2001 on the line Abakan-Mezhdurechensk of the Krasnoyarsk Railroad the Nanhchulsk tunnel 2400 m long was placed into permanent commission. Engineers and workers of "Bamtonnelstroy" JSC participated in the construction of subways in Alma-Ata, Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Yekaterinburg, Dnepropetrovsk, and many other facilities. 48 specialists of "Bamtonnelstroy" JSC participated in the construction of sarcophagus for liquidation after the catastrophe on the Chernobyl Atomic Power Station. All of them were rewarded with honours.
Nowadays "Bamtonnelstroy" JSC is a dynamically developing company, adapted to the contemporary market relations and strict competition. "Bamtonnelstroy" JSC is expanding the field of activity introducing new technologies, acquiring modern equipment, permanently improving the structure of production management.