The lighthouse in Illichivsk
Odessa Oblast, Ukraine
Illichivsk as a city was built in 1952 around the port, incorporating surrounding small settlements (dating back to 18th century). Named after Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the city was designed to become a new home for the Black Sea Shipping Company (then the largest passenger and commercial vessel operator in the world which declared bankruptcy in early 1990s). Originally a builder's trailer village, Illichivsk has expanded to become Ukraine's most prosperous town (by income per capita). Residents are mostly employed by the port (one of the largest ports of Europe) and the maritime industry. Residents of Odessa have recently begun relocating to lower-cost but higher-income Illichivsk.
Illichivsk was connected by freight train ferry line (426 km) to Varna in Bulgaria in 1978. Four train ferries two Soviet and two Bulgarian ones, named "Hero of Odessa", "Hero of Sevastopol" and "Hero of Schipka", "Hero of Pleven" which could take in three decks a total of 108 two bogie (four axle) Soviet freight cars. In the first ten-year period (1978 - 1988), these train ferries had transported 1.000.000 freight cars between Illichivsk and Varna. This train ferry service took 17 hours in both directions. The Bulgarians built gauge changing apparatus at Varna which made it possible to change bogies of 24 freight cars in one hour thirty minutes.
Illichivsk local economy is largely oriented to the sea. The biggest employer is a State Enterprise: "Illichivsk Maritime Trade Port". The headquarters and manufacturing facilities of "Antarctica" (Ukraine's largest fishing company) are also located in Illichivsk. Other major maritime shipping companies have also chosen to open their offices in Illichivsk. The city's healthy economy continues to attract new businesses and residents.