Sevpechlag was set up in mid-1940 and existed for ten years until it was amalgamated with Sevzheldorlag. It was first based in Abez village (Komi Republic) and then the Pechora rail station. (Thirteen sites associated with the Sevpechlag network of camps are included on the Map of Memory.)
The main tasks of the prisoners were to build the section of the Kotlas-Vorkuta railway between Ust-Kozhva and Vorkuta and to complete and expand the capacity of the Pechora railroad. Prisoners from Sevpechlag were also used to finish construction of a seaport and a ship-repair yard at the mouth of the Ob river on the Arctic Sea.
The initial number of prisoners increased dramatically over two years, rising from 34,959 at the beginning of 1941 to 102,000 on 1 January 1942. Within a year this total dropped to 58,000. Probably, a great many prisoners were transferred to other camps but, evidently, high death rates in 1942 also played their part. A little under half of the prisoners had been convicted under Article 58 of “counter-revolutionary” offences. There were almost two thousand women in the camp.
Numbers of prisoners never again reached the same level. When the camp closed it had 42,028 prisoners.
( See also The Gulag in Northwest Russia, 1931-1960 )