Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

Frost below –50°C? Let's go!

Northbuses appeared on the streets of Norilsk

3 september 2022

Northbuses will now be running on the roads of the polar city: Norilsk has immediately purchased two dozen cars designed by the GAZ Group. The northern name was given to 20 new insulated LIAZs, which are specially equipped for the harsh conditions of the Arctic. The switch to northbuses is part of transport reform for the world's largest city of more than 150,000 people.

Buses LIAZ-5292 of special configuration are not afraid of northern frosts—they can operate reliably even in extremely low temperatures. For this purpose, four radiators of 7.5 kW each are fitted in the passenger compartment and a separate one in the driver's cab. On the storage area, a convector powered by the engine cooling system adds heat. Double glazing and an extra layer of insulation protect against frosty air. Thermal insulation is also fitted to all key components, such as the battery compartment or underbody connections. And the insulated engine compartment reduces engine warm-up time, which is crucial when temperatures drop below –50°C. At the same time, the engine itself has an increased power output of 310 horsepower. Previously, these had only been fitted on accordion buses, but now GAZ Group has decided that a bus designed to carry people in the Arctic will need a power reserve. The northern character of the new machines is accentuated by the exclusive design.

The standard LiAZ-5292 is designed to carry 111 people. The northbus can carry the same number of passengers, but the number of seats has been increased to 30 by a special cabin layout. The changes were made at the request of the customer, the Norilsk administration.

In the harsh polar climate, accessibility to public transport for people with limited mobility is particularly important. That's why all the new buses are low-floor, with a bookend system, and there are special seats in the passenger section for people with disabilities.

CCTV has also been upgraded, with eight cameras monitoring security in the cabin. A validator, a fare card reader or bank card reader, is installed at each door. A GLONASS positioning system, electronic direction finders and digital tachographs are in operation. In addition, all northbuses will be equipped with a traffic monitoring system, which will provide information on the route and position of the bus, so that the citizens of Norilsk will not have to stand for long periods at bus stops.

Northbuses are safe for both passengers and the fragile nature of the Arctic—they are vehicles of the highest, fifth environmental class. The commissioning procedure for the northbuses is now being completed. After being registered with the traffic police and receiving state registration plates, they will be handed over to Municipal Unitary Enterprise 'NPOPAT' and will start operating on the city's routes in September.

The advantages of northbuses are already appreciated in other Arctic regions of Russia. The Murmansk Region government has bought 71 LiAZ-5292 buses, specialised for the Polar region.

Norilsk owes its appearance to a project of the Norilsk Development Agency (NDA), which is implementing transport reform. Northbuses and new warm stops are just part of Norilsk's transport reform. The city is developing a new public transport scheme and schedule, optimising the route network, creating new interchanges and introducing a discount system. And next year, it plans to introduce a radically new scheme of working with carriers. They no longer have to race around on the streets to collect as many passengers as possible, sacrificing quality service.

Read more 'Towards a common goal': the Arctic is coping with snowdrifts on the roads How the Arctic region is overhauling its transport infrastructure


See all


Read more