Rusting Russian river rockets

From Darkroasted, via Chuckles, the streamlined Russian river hydros.  First up, the Meteor:

Port of Odessa on the Black Sea, back in 1984:

First “Raketa” was seen in Moscow in 1957 during the International Youth Festival. “Raketas” immediately became very popular, and even Nikita Khruschev famously said “Enough of stumbling around rivers in some rusty tubs. Let’s travel in style!”

Rare 1970s photographs of a “Meteor” on Volga river, not far from where I lived:

Here is a “Kometa” steaming toward the Valaam islands (an archipelago in the Lake Ladoga).  I’ve been there to Valaam by boat and the Rubinski Lake was superb:

Superb craft which showed the Russians at the forefront of technology:

Many, many more at Dark Roasted.  Sadly though, as with much Russian technology, it ends up rusting away, abandoned.  Outside my city was the Russian version of Concorde.  Today some of these ships are kept in pretty miserable conditions, some are abandoned, some waiting on their chance for some private river tour company to rescue them:

Retired “heroes of the riverways”, rusting away in the autumn forest – near Kama Reservoir (Zaoszerskaya shipyards, near Perm):

Very, very sad.  Amazing place, Russia but also sad.

5 Responses to “Rusting Russian river rockets”

  1. A K Haart July 10, 2012 at 15:44 Permalink

    Surely it wouldn’t be Russia without sad?

  2. James Higham July 10, 2012 at 15:57 Permalink

    There really is an atmosphere of joyous melancholy. It’s attractive in its own way.

  3. ivan July 10, 2012 at 16:00 Permalink

    In years gone by I used to travel from Circular quay to Manley on the hydro ferry and a very enjoyable trip it was too.

  4. James Higham July 10, 2012 at 16:08 Permalink

    If you could avoid the 18 footers.

  5. wiggiatlarge July 10, 2012 at 16:16 Permalink

    I love these been on this one and they used to run a service to Capri with small futuristic boats like the Russian ones I think they have been replaced with bigger jetboats, Didn’t the Italians invent the hydrofoil ? answers on a postcard.
    http://youtu.be/M9c_yOtvSM0

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