What is the Trans-Siberian Railway, where does it go and when was it built?

TODAY marks 100 years since the mighty Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia was completed.

Google marked the occasion with one of its classic doodles – the little illustrations and animations located above the search bar.

The Trans-Siberian Railway stretches nearly 6,000 miles across Russia

The Trans-Siberian Railway stretches nearly 6,000 miles across Russia

The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railway lines that stretch for 5,772 miles across the breadth of Russia.

Crossing seven different time zones, the tracks link the Russia’s capital Moscow with the far eastern port city of Vladivostok – just a few miles from China and North Korea.

Construction began on the railway in the late 19th century on the orders of the government of Tsar Nicholas II.

The Tsar wanted to cement the country’s growing status as a global power by making trade and transport easier.

Russia’s vast territory stretches for thousands of miles and spans from Europe to Asia’s Far East.

But in the 1890s, most of the country’s trade and industry was located in its western region.

In an era before air travel, railways were the latest form of transport, so the absence of one effectively meant the country’s east was cut off.

And after plans for another track linking the region to rival trade blocks outside the country surfaced, the government was forced to act.

Work began in 1891 and continued until 1916 – nearly halfway through the First World War.

More than 90,000 soldiers, convicts and other labourers toiled for 26 years to complete the line.

The construction of the railway began in 1891 and went on for some 26 years
The construction of the railway began in 1891 and went on for some 26 years
The line was aimed at linking the country's far east with its western region (Pictured: Khilok station in 1900)
The line was aimed at linking the country’s far east with its western region (Pictured: Khilok station in 1900)

The route stretches from Moscow to Vladivostok, with alternative lines travelling through China and Mongolia to finish in Beijing.

Crossing mountains, forests and arctic wasteland, it was considered a feat of modern engineering and still remains a crucial part of Russian trade with Europe and China.

The Trans-Siberian Railway carries over 250,000 containers of goods every year and around a third of the country’s exports are thought to travel through it.

Today the railway is still crucial to Russian trade, with around a third of exports using it
Today the railway is still crucial to Russian trade, with around a third of exports using it
The line is also popular with tourists who want to see the country's natural beauty
The line is also popular with tourists who want to see the country’s natural beauty

The line is also popular with tourists keen to see the country’s natural beauty.

It takes around a week to travel the length of the line, depending on the final destination.

Tickets can be bought for anywhere between £500 for one of the cheaper fares and up to £10,000 to travel on the luxurious Golden Eagle train.

SOURCE

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