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Russia’s Emergency Steam Locomotive Reserve

(Unrelated photo: Евгений Сухарников)

To have in supply in case of a disaster, the US has a strategic reserve of petroleum. China has a similar repository of pork. Canada, of course, has a backup inventory of maple syrup.

To prepare for the worst, Russia has a reserve fleet of old fashioned steam-powered locomotives. This was originally a Soviet operation. In the event of a nuclear war, the USSR wanted to maintain a transportation infrastructure without a regular supply of diesel fuel. These trains could operate with coal. Russians call the program the Strategic Steam Resource.

12 of these trains still exist, albeit in poor condition, near the city of Roslavl. The Russian government will probably scrap them soon.

-via Marginal Revolution


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