Women kiss at a railway station along Russia's frozen Lake Baikal
A woman kisses a conductor of the BAM railway at the Severobaikalsk station on northern shore at Russia's Lake Baikal. Traversing Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East, the 4,324 km (2,687 mi) long BAM runs about 610 to 770 km (380 to 480 miles) north of and parallel to the Trans-Siberian railway.
The BAM was built as a strategic alternative route to the Trans-Siberian Railway, especially along the vulnerable sections close to the border with China. The BAM's costs were estimated at $14 billion, and it was built with special, durable tracks since much of it was built over permafrost. Due to the severe terrain, weather, length and cost Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev described BAM as "the construction project of the century".
Crowned the "Jewel of Siberia", Baikal is the world's deepest lake, and the biggest lake by volume, holding 20% of the world's fresh water. In the winter, the lake 31,722 square meter surface is entirely frozen with ice averaging 2 meters thick.
- Justin Jin
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- Lake Baikal