From 1947 to 1953 one of Stalin's biggest construction projects took place in the post-war USSR. Gulag prisoners and freelancers were involved in the construction of the Chum-Salekhard-Igarka Trans-Polar Mainline. The future railroad was to stretch along the latitudes of the Arctic Circle from the Polar Urals to the Yenisei River. The reasons for the construction were the need for transport accessibility of the Norilsk industrial mineral-rich region, and access to the site of the new seaport near the village of Igarka.
The road was built in the Far North: harsh winters with forty-degree frosts lasting 7-8 months, and short summers, when the sun hardly ever sets and hordes of mosquitoes rise in the air. Endless swamps, rivers and lakes. Tundra and taiga. The track was pulled at both ends at once. Every 7-10 kilometers a camp was built: several barracks for prisoners, a punishment cell, a canteen, a bathhouse and other household buildings. The perimeter was covered with barbed wire and in the corners there were sentry towers. People lived in crowded quarters, with an area of 1.5 square meters per person. They slept on short bunks, often with several people on each bunk. Women worked on a par with men: there were eight-hour shifts and one day off a week, which was not always possible. According to the archival studies of historians, the number of prisoners who were involved in the construction during the entire period could reach up to 100 thousand people, taking into account the rotation.