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No. DOOCOLXXV.

THE GREAT SIBERIAN IRON ROAD.1

[Since this article upon the new Trans-Siberian Railway, which the writer has just returned from visiting, was put in type, some of the effects of " unde have discovered themselves. The newspapers of Dec

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[Since this article upon the new Trans-Siberian Railway, which the writer has just returned from visiting, was put in type, some of the effects of the undertaking have discovered themselves. The newspapers of December 8, 1896, published the terms of a treaty concluded at Pekin by Count Cassini, the Russian Minister, in which the port of Kiaochou, in the province of Shantung, is offered to Russia on temporary lease, and facilities are given for that railway extension in Manchuria, in connection with the Trans-Siberian Railway, to which the reader will find a reference in the closing pages of the paper. – Ed.]

When in the years to come men Yablonovoi Hills, the line descends will review the greater undertak- into the valley of the Amur, exings of the nineteenth century, it changes it for that of the Ussuri, will be hard to find a rival to the and ends at last in Vladivostock, Trans-Siberian Railway. Winding Such is, in brief, the course of this across the illimitable plains of vast enterprise. Orenburg, traversing the broad For long, Russia has been feelUrals, spanning the widest rivers, ing her way towards the open such as the Irtish, Ob, and Yenesei, ocean. It is as if she were being it creeps around the southern end choked for want of air. The of Lake Baikal, and mounts the White Sea and the Arctic Ocean plateau of far Trans - Baikalia. enchained in Polar ice, the Baltic Thereafter, leaving behind it the similarly blocked for half the year,

1 Copyright, 1897, by J. Y. Simpson in the United States of America. VOL, CLXI.—NO. DCCCCLXXV.

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the Black Sea closed in yet another the "eighties," however, that the way, and finally the land - locked railroad scheme began to be seriCaspian, cannot satisfy her. In ously considered. Discussion first face of this, she has been com- centred round the questions as to pelled to seek the shores of the which route should be followed, Pacific Ocean. As early as the how the course of a railway could middle of the seventeenth century be most conveniently parcelled out, a handful of intrepid Russian and whether it would be advisable pioneers had gained the barren to carry it right across Siberia. Okhotsk coast and founded the The last point was decided in town that bears that name. It the affirmative, mainly owing to a was only however to find that here marked change for the better in the same conditions prevailed as financial prospects about this time. on their western Baltic, and the As to whether this railway should disappointed explorers involun- be a continuation from Tiumen on tarily turned their eyes towards the Ural line, from Miass on the the kindlier south. Soon a party Samara - Zlatoust line, or simply of Cossacks and hunters, passing of that which runs to Orenburg, through Trans-Baikalia, took pos- it was, however, not so easy to session of some land on the upper decide. Eventually in February Amur. Gradually the whole terri- 1891 it was resolved to lay a track tory on the left bank of that river from Miass to Tcheliabinsk, and came into Russian bands, though to carry on the survey from that it was General Muravieff who in town to Tomsk. Lastly, would it 1854, during the progress of the be enough to make a commenceCrimean war

, played the greatestment in any one place merely, or, part in the work of annexation. on the contrary, would it be adFrom about four or five years later visable to begin operations at dates the appearance of Siberian different points? In the latter railway effort.

case the construction of the middle Not only were there numerous portion of the Siberian Railway Russian proposals for the exploita- could be bastened by two years, tion of the country, but it stands and there appeared a possibility of on record that Collins, an American, entering on that of the Transand Morison and Horn, two Eng. Baikal portion even before the lishmen, were also among the first rails would be laid to Irkutsk. In projectors. Nothing, however, was view of these considerations, the done. Some of the plans submit Committee declared in favour of ted were interesting, and it was simultaneous commencement at quite a new idea to learn how far different points. one could go across Siberia by This is a Russian project with simply making a canal between which the reigning Tzar is pecuone of the tributaries of the Ob liarly connected.

During his and the Yenesei. By means of journey through Siberia in 1891, the natural waterways one could while yet Tzarevitch, he became thus reach the Baikal Lake and personally acquainted with every ascend the Selenga ; thereafter all aspect of the undertaking, its that was necessary would be to difficulties and advantages. The cross the Yablonovoi watershed and execution of this colossal project descend into the valley of the is largely due to bis great interest Amur.

and enthusiasm in the matter, It was only in the beginning of At Vladivostock the work was

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the Black Sea closed in yet another the “eighties,” however, that the way, and finally the land - locked railroad scheme began to be seriCaspian, cannot satisfy her. In ously considered.

ously considered. Discussion first face of this, she has been com- centred round the questions as to pelled to seek the shores of the which route should be followed, Pacific Ocean. As early as the how the course of a railway could middle of the seventeenth century be most conveniently parcelled out, a handful of intrepid Russian and whether it would be advisable pioneers had gained the barren to carry it right across Siberia. Okhotsk coast and founded the The last point was decided in town that bears that name. It the affirmative, mainly owing to a was only however to find that here marked change for the better in the same conditions prevailed as financial prospects about this time. on their western Baltic, and the As to whether this railway should disappointed explorers involun- be a continuation from Tiumen on tarily turned their eyes towards the Ural line, from Miass on the the kindlier south. Soon a party Samara - Zlatoüst line, or simply of Cossacks and hunters, passing of that which runs to Orenburg, through Trans-Baikalia, took pos- it was, however, not so easy to session of some land on the upper decide. Eventually in February Amur. Gradually the whole terri- 1891 it was resolved to lay a track tory on the left bank of that river from Miass to Tcheliabinsk, and came into Russian hands, though to carry on the survey from that it was General Muravieff who in town to Tomsk. Lastly, would it 1854, during the progress of the be enough to make a commenceCrimean war, played the greatest ment in any one place merely, or, part in the work of annexation. on the contrary, would it be adFrom about four or five years later visable to begin operations at dates the appearance of Siberian different points ? In the latter railway effort.

case the construction of the middle Not only were there numerous portion of the Siberian Railway Russian proposals for the exploita- could be hastened by two years, tion of the country, but it stands and there appeared a possibility of on record that Collins, an American, entering on that of the Transand Morison and Horn, two Eng- Baikal portion even before the lishmen, were also among the first rails would be laid to Irkutsk. In projectors. Nothing, however, was view of these considerations, the done. Some of the plans submit- Committee declared in favour of ted were interesting, and it was simultaneous commencement at quite a new idea to learn how far

different points. one could go across Siberia by This is a Russian project with simply making a canal between which the reigning Tzar is pecuone of the tributaries of the Ob liarly connected. During his and the Yenesei. By means of journey through Siberia in 1891, the natural waterways one could while yet Tzarevitch, he became thus reach the Baikal Lake and personally acquainted with every ascend the Selenga; thereafter all aspect of the undertaking, its that was necessary would be to difficulties and advantages. The cross the Yablonovoi watershed and execution of this colossal project descend into the valley of the is largely due to his great interest Amur.

and enthusiasm in the matter. It was only in the beginning of At Vladivostock the work was

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