Now Transsib is an important highway that attracts both Russian and foreign tourists. Why do so many people decide to take such a long journey? The reason is that Transsib is Russia itself. Passing through it, you understand what it is - 9 thousand kilometers to the ocean.
The history of Trans-Siberian Railway
The question of building the Trans-Siberian Railway was open for quite a long time. At the beginning of the 20th century, vast areas of Western and Eastern Siberia and the Far East remained detached from the European part of the Russian Empire, Therefore, there was a need to find a way to solve this problem with minimal time and money.
In 1857, the Governor of Eastern Siberia Nikolai Muravyov-Amursky officially arose the question of the need to build a railway on the Siberian outskirts of Russia. However, the government began to solve it only in only by the 1880s. It was decided to build a railway using only own funds, without any help of Western industrialists.
In February 1891, a committee of ministers considered it possible to begin the works simultaneously from two sides - from Chelyabinsk and Vladivostok.
The official date of the start of the construction is 31 May 1891, when the heir to the Russian throne and future emperor Nicholas II laid the first stone of the Ussuri railway to Khabarovsk.
The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway was carried out in harsh climatic conditions. Almost all the territory along the route was sparsely populated, deserted or impassable taiga. The railroad crossed Siberian rivers, numerous lakes, areas of high marshiness and permafrost.
The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway required huge funds. According to preliminary calculations, its cost was determined at 350 million rubles in gold.
There was also a problem of providing the construction with labor. In order to meet the need for skilled workers, builders from the center of the country were recruited and transfered to Siberia. A significant part of the builders were exiled prisoners and soldiers. Siberian peasants and citizens also took part in the construction. In total, at the beginning of construction, in 1891, there were 9.6 thousand people, in the years 1895-1896, 84-89 thousand people, in 1904, at the final stage - 5.3 thousands of people. Many works were done manually, the tools were the most primitive - an ax, a saw, a shovel, a pick, and a wheelbarrow. Despite this, about 500-600 kilometers of railway were laid annually.
The actual length of the Trans-Siberian Railway on the main passenger route (from Moscow to Vladivostok) is 9288.2 kilometers and by this indicator it is the longest on the planet.
10 interesting facts about the Trans-Siberian Railway
1. The most western station of Transsib is Moscow, the most western is Khabarovsk (5 days and 13 hours from Moscow), the most northern is Kirov (12 hours from Moscow), the most southern is Vladivostok (6 days and 2 hours).
2. Despite the fact that Vladivostok is officially the last station of Transsib, there are still stations even more distant from Moscow - Vostochny port and Cape Astafyev (Nakhodka branch). Thus, the Trans-Siberian Railway actually goes straight to the Pacific Ocean.
3. There are 87 cities along the Trans-siberian railway. On the way from Moscow to Vladivostok, the “Russia” train makes 64 stops.
4. The only station in the world built entirely of marble is located on the Trans-Siberian Railway. It is Slyudyanka-1, close to the shore of Lake Baikal. The construction of the pompous railway station was the final step of the Circum-Baikal Railway construction. By the way, there is no other building in Russia made of unpolished Baikal marble, mined in Slyudyanka
5. The railway crosses 16 major rivers (including the Volga, Kama, Yenisei, Amur and Irtysh) and passes through the territories of 12 regions, 5 territories, 2 republics and 1 districts.
6. During the construction of the Circum-Baikal Railway, 2 cars of explosives were used for every kilometer of the way to break through the rocks.
7. The largest railway station on Transsib is Novosibirsk-Glavny. It was built in 1940.
8. The coldest pole of the railway is located in Zabaykalsky Krai and Amur Oblast. Although this is not the northernmost point on the map, the temperature sometimes reaches minus 60 degrees.
9. The longest bridge on the Trans-Siberian Railway stretches across the Amur. It was built in 1913-1916. “Amursky handsome”, as the locals called it, became the longest bridge in Russia and the second longest in the world.
10. "Russia" train, going from Moscow to Vladivostok, appeared in 1966. On this day and under this name, it started its first trip. Since 2000, the cars are painted in the colors of the Russian flag.
Learn about our tours across the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway here.