ChME3 locomotive transports cars with salt along Baskunchak lake, the biggest salt lake in Russia, located north of the Caspian Sea. The salinity of the lake is about 300 g/l. Since the 8th century its salt was mined and distributed via the Silk Road. Nowadays the lake's salt of distinct purity (99.8% NaCl) covers 80% of Russia's salt production. Depending on need, about 1.5 million to 5 million tons of salt are mined per year. Today salt is developed here by railroad, which lies on the lake.