Route Map....The BAM Railway (3400km / 2113mi) stands for Baikal-Amur Mainline. Its famous counterpart, the Trans-Siberian, was already in operation when, in 1938, Soviet leader Josef Stalin ordered a second line from Tayshet city to the Pacific Ocean. But WWII and Stalin's death brought the BAM to a halt, and for the next 20 years little was done on the project. In 1974, Leonid Brezhnev announced BAM was a "Shock Project", giving it a national priority. Soon the Komsomol Youth Party began organizing workers by the thousands. In the early days almost all were volunteers, filled with the romance of pioneers and opportunities to earn triple salaries. The work was hard, long, and dangerous. Temperatures plunged below -50C. Voracious gnats, ticks and mosquitoes attacked in summer. The breakup of USSR was particularly critical for the road, but it kept going and officially was completed in 1991. When traveling along the BAM, pay attention to the design of each train station (buildings). It has an ethnic touch of the former USSR members. It was done on purpose to underline the unity of many cultures living in the USSR. Some of BAM train stations are true architectural art built of granite, marble, and metal. The BAM tunnels deserve special attention.. particularly the 15-kilometer (9 miles) Severomuysky Tunnel. It was finally completed in 2001 after 25 years of fighting the stubborn mountain. Today it is one of the world's longest railway tunnels. It was also the most difficult one to built because of the unique seismic and geological conditions.