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Siberian track may be laid before any engine is ready

Soviet engineers have failed so far to develop a locomotive capable of withstanding the harsh conditions on the country's premier construction project, the new trans-Siberian railway, its chief said Wednesday.

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''Every new model of locomotive produced in the past few years has been heralded as specially designed for BAM (the Baikal-Amur Railway), but not one has stood the test,'' BAM chief Valery Gorbunov wrote in the party daily, Pravda. ''We need a powerful locomotive, capable of pulling heavy trains in temperatures ranging from plus 40 C. (104 F.) to -60 (-76 F.),'' he said.

The new 2,200-mile railway is due to be opened by Nov. 7 but still faces a large number of difficulties.

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