It was the 1930s, the peak period of Stalin’s Five Year Programs and most of the Soviet Union was embroiled in a nationalized industrial effort that aimed at three collective targets: Heavy machinery, state farms, and weapons. When we look at history, we are appalled by the poor level of engineering done due to a shortage of skilled manpower and competitive edge. More than fifty percent of the tractors made in the mass-production facilities of the country broke down so badly they couldn’t be repaired. Same was the case with the automobiles and other heavy machinery.
Now most of us think it was down to poor engineering skills from the Soviets which wasn’t true at all. The Soviets promoted innovation and invested heavily in design engineering. But what they couldn’t achieve was this ridiculous industrial growth of up to two thousand percent within ten years without some setbacks. Most of the workers were motivated by fear and couldn’t do their jobs very well. The quality of the Soviet engineering can be seen by the giant strides in technology they were able to achieve in such a short amount of time. They developed rockets, engines, planes and trains at a rapid pace to supplement their incredible growth in the economy. Here is an example of what they did:
This innovative locomotive was designed in the Union in the 1930s to see how design affects the engine power. They were eventually able to arrive at this shape and according to them, this configuration allowed 200-250 extra horsepower in acceleration. It was ominously named “Joseph Stalin” train and it could travel at speeds higher than 155 Km/h which is amazing considering the era they were invented in. Damn these machines look like a retrica picture of a modern bullet train! Needless to say, this amazing advances in design were further used in the development of locomotives like type 2-3-2 (P12 and 6998).