Главная страница Sydvaranger A/S locomotives

In 1866 iron ore deposits were found from Bjцrnevatn ( Bear water ) about some 10 km south of Kirkenes ( Kirkkoniemi ) [ Cape of Church ]. On 14.05.1826 the Russians and Norwegians reached an agreement in St.Petersburg of commom frontier between Russia and Norway in that area. It was here, in this sparsely populated area, where the Sydvaranger A/S ( Company ) was founded in 1906.It was also decided to built an standard gauge 1435 mm gauge railway from the Bjцnevatn mine area to Kirkenes Harbour about 7,5 km of main line. At first it was planned to electrify the line by building the hydro power station to border river Paatsjoki / Paskivselv but the Russian opposition for this plan rejected the electrification plan. The railway was opened on 13.07.1910. The line was later in 1920 electrified with 750 V overhead catenary.Also some short extensions were made bringing the total lenght of the railway to 8.45 km.
The German troops moved in to Kirkenes only in late June 1940 when a battallion of Wehrmacht military police forces were allocated there.The first fighting units arrived only in August 1940. Two Norwegian battallions guarded the Finnish / Norwegian frontier before that date,and only after the German units had taken over the frontier guarding they were demobilised as last Norwegian Army Units in active service. At first the Germans led the Sydvaranger continue its ore production as usual but the ore was shipped instead of Great Britain to Germany. On 22.06.1941 Hitler launched his Operation Barbarossa but in the far north the hostilities did not take place until 26.06.1941. In 1941-1944 Kirkenes was the second place after La Valetta in Malta to have airstrikes,328 at all,the worstest on July 4,1944.During this air raid several locomotives were badly damaged. Meanwhile the Germans had started to built so called 3.0 km " Hafenbahn Kirkenes " in 1942 and the line was completed by late 1943. The " Bauleitung Norlandbahn " brought from NSB ( Norske Staatsban ) 20 freight cars and from Germany 10 freight cars and DRB steam locomotives 89.7433 and 98.305 to Kirkenes.

On 15.05.1941 the Sydvaranger A/S had on books the following steam locomotives:

1Ct-n2Hamar3319081942 -> Kolosjoki-Liinahamari railway building,Petsamo,Finland.
2Ct-n2Hamar4719101942 -> Kolosjoki-Liinahamari railway building,Petsamo,Finland
3Ct-n2Jung176219111952 on Sydvaranger active list
4Ct-n2Jung176119111952 on Sydvaranger active list
5Ct-n2Jung184919111952 on Sydvaranger active list
21Dt-n2Motala2651901ex SJ N 640 1921 -> LKAB 1938 -> Sydvaranger 21". In service 1952.

1) Borsig 6949,6952,6955,6956 / 1910 in unknown order. Rebuilt from fireless Bf in 1915-1916 to Bt-n2.
2) Hanomag 6790,6791,6983 / 1913 and 7117,7293,7295 / 1914 in unknown order. Sydvaranger 21 was sold in 1938 to Petsamon Nikkeli Oy,Finland and is one of these locomotives.

In 1942 the Germans decided to continue the building of nickel railway at Petsamo area in Finland which Petsamon Nikkeli Oy had started in 1938. For this railway building the Germans transferred Sydvaranger nos 1 and 2 to Kolosjoki- Salmijдrvi-Liinahamari railway building.It is possible that they drafted even more locomotives from Germany in 1943 to this railway construction site,but all the details are missing.
On October 7,1944 Red Army launched its offensive against the Germans in the Far North which led to collapse of the German front line.Kirkenes area was cleared from the Germans on 24.10.1944. The Russians remained at Kirkenes until September 1945.The Kirkenes Military Commander Colonel Lukin Greege asked Sydvaranger A/S compensation for coming Red Army withdrawal costs.The Sydvaranger A/S paid 115.000 Norwegian Krunor for the Russians.In additition it seems that when they left the Russians took also with them two less damaged steam locomotives to Petsamo. Unfortunately all other information is missing, including which locomotives were in question. To make things even more complicate,the Liinahamari-Petsamo-Kolosjoki railway building was not transferred to NKPS / MPS but remained at BerijaDs hands in 1945.
In 1945-1946 the British delivered a half a dozen diesel locomotives to Petchenga ( Petsamo ). Unfortunately their origin is also unknown. Also the locomotive builder H.K.Porter,USA delivered in 1944-1945 1524 mm gauge locomotives to Soviet Union.These locomotives are all known and they were:

HKP7740 - 77491944Bt-n2USRR ( Gul.Zh.D.S.)
HKP7750 - 77641944Ct-n2USSR ( Gul.Zh.D.S )
HKP7765 - 77691945Ct-n2USRR ( Gul.Zh.D.S )

The last two active steam locomotives at Petsamo area were H.K.Porter Ct-n2 steam locomotives. They lasted well to be taken over by the MPS.
On 23.04.1951 Berija lauched his Construction Project No 511,the building of Liinahamari-Petchenga ( Petsamo )-Verkhne Tuloma ( Ylд Tuuloma )-Kitsa railway line.By July 1951 1888 prisoners were already working on this building. After StalinDs death this project was abandoned and closed on 29.04.1953.How much of the line was completed by that day is still an open question. We may only assume that the Sydvaranger steam locomotives ended their days some where on this line in 1953 or little later.

This has not published before.

Jukka Nurminen