Young people dance at a festival dedicated to the anniversary of the founding of their home town - Tayshet. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Tayshet was the administrative centre of the gulag colonies of Oserlag and Angarstroy. The construction of the first section of the Baikal Amur Mainline Railway (BAM) was startered in 1937 and administered from Tayshet. The BAM runs around 600 to 700 km parallel and north of the Trans-siberian route through Siberia and Russia's Far East. It runs for almost 4,400 kms and is laden with history - from its initial construction by gulag prisoners to its expansion by Komsomol (Communist Youth) and toward its decline toward the end of the Soviet Union. Today, many settlements along the line are in steep decline.