The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №4(26)

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The effect of railway network evolution on the Kaliningrad region’s landscape environment

DOI
10.5922/2074-9848-2015-4-11
Pages
137-149

Abstract

This article addresses methodology of modern landscape studies from the perspective of natural and man-made components of a territory. Railway infrastructure is not only an important system-building element of economic and settlement patterns; it also affects cultural landscapes. The study of cartographic materials and historiography made it possible to identify the main stages of the development of the Kaliningrad railway network in terms of its territorial scope and to describe causes of the observed changes. Historically, changes in the political, economic, and military environment were key factors behind the development of the Kaliningrad railway network. Nature was less important. The existing Kaliningrad railway network is to a great degree the legacy of the earlier, pre-war times. Today, its primary function is to provide international cargo and passenger transportation. Two types of railway infrastructure are identified in the Kaliningrad region – modern (functioning) and relic (abandoned) ones. In the Kaliningrad region, the process of land reclamation of the railway system starts when the maintenance of railroads is discontinued, which is followed by the formation of primitive soils and emerging biocenoses enhanced by fill soils and artificial relief.

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