Huge Mining Machines, Abandoned in Russian Countryside

The "haunted" Russian countryside is an interesting place, where artifacts of the faded glory of the Soviet Empire can still be found, and where no forest patch is what it seems - with possible history of awful things that you don't want to know...

In our last article we saw some strange electrical installations, this time let's have a look at the abandoned Lopatino Phosphate Mines. Located close to the Voskresensk city (70 km from Moscow), the area is still famous for its fossil beds (and even dinosaur skeletons) from the Jurassic period. It also happens to be very rich in phosphates. The mines once saw a lot of activity, but were closed with the Soviet economy's decline. Eventually the pits filled with water, and the rusting skeletons of the abandoned steel monsters, "guarding" these lakes, would be the only dinosaurs that you could find there.

The following photos were taken by various Russian photographers visiting the area: Courtesy Adella, Vol4enka, LongFello.

In its better days, this particular digger moved on rails and was capable of loading an entire train with phosphates in only half an hour.

Maybe it's not entirely dead yet, as it seems to eat cars for breakfast...

The monsters look even better in winter:

There are smaller dwellers in the area, as well:

The mineral deposits look somewhat like flying saucers, adding to the other-worldly feel of the place:

(images credit: Adella, Vol4enka, LongFello)

Vintage Mining Machines of the Soviet Empire

Eastern European countries developed a big mining industry in the 50s-70s. Just have a look at the former East German machinery on this page. It seems that the "bigger is better" bug struck the Communists early and they never recovered from it.

Photo of the huge 1957 digger and 1960 dredge unit, both Soviet-made.

Already in 1962 they used somewhat impressive trucks:

Some of the mining machines looked like something out of Theodore Sturgeon's "Killdozer!" story:

The vast abandoned pits of former East Germany's super-mining will be covered in a separate article.

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Category: Technology,Weird
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the site.

Put these coordinates into Google Maps, and you can see the machines in the satellite view.

latitude: 55.26821191135916
longitude: 38.81821632385254

I have too much time on my hands.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Those old machines make my welder's heart go pitty-pat! I make "found" metal art and those babies would keep me busy for a whole lotta years. Looks like the Russian countryside is pretty, doesn't it?

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Forests in Central Russia have much in common with old English forests, quiet small rivers, practically pristine lakes and rolling hills. Not bad, but there are some creepy places, ghost villages and weird strangers. Be prepared for lots of surprises.

Blogger Jason Heath said...

These are really spectacular photos! I spent a summer touring Russia with an orchestra, and I saw a great number of hulking Soviet relics dotting the countryside.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These photos are fantastic! This old machines are fearful and marvellous!

Anonymous Shad said...

Some of the machines appear to have offices attached to the side of them. Would'nt it be cool to be be in an office atached to a giant turning machine.


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