The Trans-Siberian Railway is a masterpiece of Russian railway engineers and even today a myth. With around 9300 kilometers long is the Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest continuous railway line in the world.
The development of the railway networks
In the middle of 19. Century was a rapid development of the railway networks in large parts of Europe to watch. It proceeded in the Russian Empire but only hesitantly. It was already in 1837 the first railway at the present Russian ground finished, but there was only a small private railway for the tsar. It connected the 23 kilometers between Saint Petersburg and his summer residence, Tsarskoye Selo. Only in 1852 was the second railway line in service between the then capital city of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, with a length of about 644 kilometers. In Germany, at about the same time already 8000 kilometers in operation.
Military and economic reasons
Under Tsar Alexander II (1855 1881) was Russia a social and economic modernisation. The railway network is expanded. His son, Tsar Alexander III, opted for the construction of the long and technically challenging route. It should be the remote port city of Vladivostok with Moscow. The ice-free ports in the east should be to the west of the russian empire can be connected. So you could be a part of the global trade in goods transport. At the same time had an alternative to the slower sea transport, at least more than two months time. By train it took only about five weeks to Europe.
Video: Trans-Siberian Railway
Start of construction
Works began in 1891 in Vladivostok. Due to the length of the route, the various sections are built at the same time. Sometimes there were up to 90,000 workers in use at the same time. The building went, measured in terms of the challenge that quickly. The extremely harsh conditions of life and work, but called for Your Price: tens of thousands of workers died during the construction phase to diseases. Sometimes they would have in the Siberian winter, temperatures of around minus 40 degrees Celsius without fixed habitation livelihood. A lack of adequate medical care.
Trans-Siberian Railway ran in the carriage over the lake Baikal
A continuous rail transport between St. Petersburg and from Moscow to Vladivostok was from 1904. Up to completion of the rocky passage at Lake Baikal, the path in the winter with sledge transported. In the summer of acquisitions of ships with the transport of the huge lake.
The completion of this technically difficult and costly part was due to the Russian Japanese War (1904- 1905) accelerated, since the route now militarily important. For a kilometer route through the rocks on the shores of the lake you needed a whole wagon filled with explosives. This increased the costs almost three times the price of an average mile of Trans-Siberian Railway.
The war made a modified route is necessary. Part of the route, namely by the Manchuria, not to Russia was. The fear of a japanese occupation of Manchuria led the Russian leadership, the route to change. Until 1916 were built on the Amur route, since the classical route of the Transsiberian Railway.
Trans-Siberian Railway was very slow
Bis heute bleibt die technische Meisterleistung der Arbeiter und Ingenieure beeindruckend. Anfangs bevorzugte man einfache und billige Lösungen. Man vermied Tunnel durch enge Kurven und große Steigungen und verbaute Material minderwertiger Qualität. Dies geschah jedoch auf Kosten der Reisegeschwindigkeit, die Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts kaum die 30 km/h überstieg, was auch für die damalige Zeit sehr langsam war.
Die Schienen waren leichter als üblich und bogen sich. Doch dies war auch eine notwendige Anpassung an die klimatischen Bedingungen. Die Schienen wären sonst womöglich in den auftauenden Frostböden eingesunken. Brücken, die anfangs aus Holz gebaut wurden, fingen manchmal wegen des Funkenflugs Feuer. Später baute man Brücken aus Stein und Stahl. Insgesamt über 485 Brücken liegen auf der Strecke, einige von ihnen gehören zu den längsten Brücken Asiens. So zum Beispiel die Amur-Brücke, die zwei Kilometer überspannt.
Trotz der großen Bedeutung der Strecke war sie nur eingleisig ausgebaut. Schon Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts wurde das zweite Gleis geplant. Es konnte jedoch erst nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg zu Ende geführt werden.