The Trans-Siberian Railway, picture above, was a massive industrial project undertaken during the end of the 19th Century and completed in the early 20th Century. When first announced, I am sure the first problem that came to mind was the vast expanse the railway would cover. Russia was and remains the largest country in the world and the Trans-Siberian Railway was taking on the task of spanning over 5,000 miles. It was estimated to cost over 42.5 million pounds, equavilant to roughly 70,521,525 American dollars (converted to modern day amount would be over 1 billion American dollars). The completion of this project would depend on the industrial advancements made in Europe and Eurasian during the industrial revolution and would take excellent and perfect planning in order to remain an economically viable option.
Once the railway began construction in 1891, it soon become apparent what the long term plans for the railway would entail. The railway would consist of stations every 30 miles and it would take roughly 16 days to cross the continent. While the placement of the railway may have seemed bizarre due to the low population of many parts of Russia, its military and economic importance cannot be understated. It provided a connection for Moscow to China and important Asian markets; this gave Russia the potential to be right in the middle of European and Asian trade moving into the 20th Century. Whether or not Russia will be able to take advantage of this massive economic project will be discovered as we move more into the 20th Century.
First Article Link: http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/docview/7197937/fulltextPDF?accountid=14826
Second Article Link: http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/docview/2642187/fulltextPDF?accountid=14826
Primary Source Link: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/transport.html