Russian Railways to resume Murmansk rail traffic by June 23

Passenger and cargo rail transportation between the northern port city of Murmansk and the rest of Russia will resume by June 23 after it was halted because of the collapse of the only railway bridge linking the two, Russian Railways said on Wednesday.

The foundations of the bridge across the river Kola were washed away by rapidly melting snow and strong water flows on Saturday, and the bridge gave way on Monday, the Emergencies Ministry said earlier this week.

Russian Railways said rail traffic to Murmansk would resume by June 23 using a temporary structure that will be set up to circumvent the collapsed bridge. The railway operator has already imposed a temporary moratorium on the loading of goods to the Murmansk transport hub.

Russian Railways said it would complete the construction of a new rail bridge in early October.

Murmansk, located 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) northwest of Moscow, is an important transport hub in the Russian Arctic.