Soviet Union Table of Contents
Since 1975 passenger transportation by train has been second to bus in terms of total fares boarded. Nevertheless, in 1986 trains carried more than 4.3 billion passengers, of which more than 3.9 billion were on suburban lines (see table 42, Appendix A). Suburban and short-haul passenger volume represented about 90 percent of the passengers carried by train. In 1985 the railroads ran nearly 10,000 passenger train pairs, about 500 of which were long distance, another 500 were local (trains not crossing the boundaries of a given line), and nearly 9,000 were suburban or other types. During the peak summer season, daily passenger train traffic increased dramatically, to approximately 19,000 longdistance and 17,000 local trains. To resolve, or at least alleviate, congestion in the summer, train lengths were increased. Thus, eighteen-car trains were extended to twenty-four cars on heavily used lines from Moscow, while in 1986 test trains of thirty-two cars were run out of Moscow and Leningrad to Simferopol' in Crimea.
The most important passenger railroads in the mid-1980s were the Moscow, October, Gor'kiy, Southern, Donetsk, Dnepr, Sverdlovsk, and Northern Caucasus. These served the Soviet Union's most densely populated areas. The two most heavily traveled axes were the Leningrad-Moscow-Donetsk to Crimea or the Caucasus area and the Moscow to Khabarovsk (8,540 kilometers) and Vladivostok (9,300 kilometers) areas. On the latter axis, most passengers traveled distances of only 500 to 700 kilometers, rather than the full length. The seven major passenger rail centers in the European part of the Soviet Union were in Moscow, Leningrad, Tbilisi, Khar'kov, Kiev, Simferopol', and Adler; the major center in the Asian part of the country was at Novosibirsk (see fig. 18).
Data as of May 1989