Libau–Romny Railway

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The Libau–Romny Railway was a railway line built by the Russian Empire in 1871–74 to connect Romny in Ukraine with the port in Libau (Liepāja) in present-day Latvia. The objective of the railway was to deliver Ukrainian exports, particularly grain, to the Baltic Sea where it could be further shipped. Today the railroad is located in four countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine). Exploitation of the portion between Liepāja and Mažeikiai was discontinued in 1990.


The idea for the railway was advanced in 1856, but it lacked funds. It was resurrected by Karl Otto Georg von Meck in 1869. The railway was built in sections:

  • Liepāja–Kaišiadorys (295 versts) exploitation began in September 1871;
  • Naujoji VilniaMinsk (173 versts) began in January 1873;
  • Minsk–Bobruisk (140 versts) began in September 1873;
  • Bobruisk–Gomel (142 versts) began in November 1873;
  • Gomel–Bakhmach (184 versts) began in January 1874
  • Bakhmach–Romny began in July 25, 1874.

A branch from Radviliškis to Daugavpils (completed in 1873) and station in Naujoji Vilnia connected the railway to the Saint Petersburg – Warsaw Railway. The station in Mažeikiai connected Libau–Romny line to the Riga–Jelgava Railway; the station in Minsk connected the line to the Moscow–Brest Railway; the station in Bakhmach connected the line to Kiev–Voronezh Railway; the station in Romny connected the line to the Kharkiv–Mykolaiv Railway. Railway stations were built every 22 versts without regard to geographic or other conditions.