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however, in the shade of individual those who came under the Govertrees. The wild rose also abounds, nor-General of Irkutsk, that eight and brackens usurp what remains. months' railway work should count Along the railway - line, which as one year of imprisonment or winds in long - drawn sigmoid hard labour, according to circumcurves, navvies are now in greater stances. For the exiles the term evidence. The Direction takes on required to enable them to be practically all who offer, as the registered as peasants was to be supply is not in excess of the de- reduced, in return for labour on mand. The astonishing daily wage the railway, in the proportion of of 14 roubles is paid ; labour can one year for two. For those who not be got cheaper. On the western more than two years before had half of the line the men are mainly been transported for life, the Russians, Siberians, and in a few period during which they should instances Italians ; farther east have to wait before permission you find convicts, Chinese, and would be granted to choose a dwellCoreans. During the summer they ing-place was reduced by one-half ; lie out at night or rear a simple and for those compelled to live in dwelling by means of sleepers, far Siberia, the term of deportation much as a child makes one of

was to be shortened by counting bricks.

one year as two. The question of criminal labour

The success attending convict

labour on the Mid-Siberian Railon the railway presents some interesting features that may be briefly way gave rise to the idea of again narrated here. Once it was re- extending these regulations to the

other farther Eastern section of solved to employ convict labour, the problem that presented itself to

the railway. With this object the the Ministry of the Interior was

same privileges were granted to how, out of the criminal prisoners prisoners and exiles coming under from European Russia, the lazy the surveillance of the Governor

General of Ussuri as local population of the Siberian

to those prisons, and the political exiles, to under the Governor - General of form a disciplined army of railway Irkutsk. workmen. It was, however, solved

For the supervision of the exiles 80 brilliantly that the convicts the Minister of the Interior apworking on the Mid-Siberian road pointed special officers, and for the by their labour and irreproachable supervision of the common criminal conduct attracted the attention of labourers, inspectors and orderlies. the august President of the Com. The former enjoy a position of mittee of the Siberian Railway. district country control, with the Convict labour was at first directed right added of calling out a milito the construction of the Ussuri tary escort. Each individual conRailway, where, on the contrary, troller bas 200 versts of the road it far from verified expectations, allotted to him.

The inspectors and the convict party was soon and orderlies have the privileges sent back to the island of Saghalin. of the lower police ranks, and are On a larger scale the experiment disposed at every 50 versts of was repeated in the construction road-construction, of the Mid-Siberian Railway. In Again we have exchanged our order to make the work attractive, wooded park for the open plain, and so include convicts of all cate- along which we ride now somewhat gories, a regulation was made for timidly, and at last reach the banks

o the river Tom, where the un- troops towards her Eastern frontrished bridge once more renders tiers. In their white cotton jack. the ferry-boat indispensable. Later ets with red epaulettes, dark-green të saw the testing of the bridge trousers, black waist - belt, long previous to opening. On each boots, and white peak caps, the #fan a train consisting of four men look in the best of spirits, as komotives and four laden wag. if they were enjoying themselves

gons had to remain for two hours; to their hearts' content. At the | thereafter the train traversed the station they descend, form up, and

bridge sereral times, increasing the then march off, singing awhile rate of speed at each passage.

some of their strange folk-lays. In Tomsk, the third largest town about an hour, the sound of a in all Siberia, is not situated on measured tramp of feet accompany. the main line ; a branch line from ing a lively chorus betokens their a point called Taiga runs thither. return, and each man may be seen True to all traditions, the Tomsk swinging along with a large brown terminus is 3 versts from the town. loaf of rye-bread under his arm, When we passed eastwards in Now we enter a distinctly hilly June

, Taiga was represented by a and wooded country. The' floral tes piles of logs, and the branch- wealth is very great--purple cypri. line was in process of construc- pedia, aconite, blue potentillas, tion

. Three months later, not wild geranium, equisetum, and a only was the usual large stone hundred other varieties. Two water-reservoir standing sentinel, lovely lilies now demand attenpagoda-like,

over a neat array of tion owing to their quantity, log-vouses, varying in colour and the graceful yellow Hemerocallis, appearance, but the buffet was set like so many golden stars in capable of supplying a champagne a firmament of emerald, smiles lunch in honour of the birth of a back to the drooping purple Lilium son to the Governor of Tomsk. martagon. It was only by the courtesy of On occasions the train comes to the railway officials that we pro- & standstill, and the workmen ceeded farther by rail ; however, who accompany us rush out and it was expected that the line would pull up the wild rhubarb. Scotch be

open to the public as far as fir, spruce, Siberian poplar, alder, Krasnoyarsk by October of last and birch predominate. Approachyear. In two years one will prob- ing Atchinsk, however, we again ably be able to go as far as Ir- come on the open plain. As our kutsk, and in six years more there. waggon creeps nearer the town on after , Vladivostock and Paris may a side-line

, we observe that we are be joined by rail .

gradually working into the midst The new train on the far side of of a large band of settlers. Sudthe river Tom is entirely com- denly there is a violent jerk, then posed of trucks filled with iron the train stops, and we find that rails and tools, except for two or

we have left the rails: thus we three carriages for the inspector are conveniently situated for study and director of that division of the right in the middle of the settler line ; one of these we share. There colony. ie, however, one fourth-class wag.

It was already evening, and the gon full of labourers. At Marinsk cool night wind had begun to we pass a military train--part of blow. Reviewing the temporary the general movement of Russian camp pitched upon either side of

of the river Tom, where the un- troops towards her Eastern froninished bridge once more renders tiers. In their white cotton jackhe ferry-boat indispensable. Later ets with red epaulettes, dark-green we saw the testing of the bridge trousers, black waist - belt, long previous to opening. On each boots, and white peak caps, the span a train consisting of four men look in the best of spirits, as locomotives and four laden wag. if they were enjoying themselves gons had to remain for two hours; to their hearts' content. At the thereafter the train traversed the station they descend, form up, and bridge several times, increasing the then march off, singing awhile rate of speed at each passage. some of their strange folk-lays. In

Tomsk, the third largest town about an hour, the sound of a in all Siberia, is not situated on measured tramp of feet accompany. the main line; a branch line from ing a lively chorus betokens their a point called Taiga runs thither. return, and each man may be seen True to all traditions, the Tomsk swinging along with a large brown terminus is 3 versts from the town. loaf of rye-bread under his arm. When we passed eastwards in Now we enter a distinctly hilly June, Taiga was represented by a and wooded country. The floral few piles of logs, and the branch- wealth is very great-purple cypriline was in process of construc- pedia, aconite, blue potentillas, tion. Three months later, not wild geranium, equisetum, and a only was the usual large stone hundred

hundred other varieties. Two water-reservoir standing sentinel, lovely lilies now demand attenpagoda-like, over a neat array of tion owing to their quantity, log-houses, varying in colour and the graceful yellow Hemerocallis, appearance, but the buffet was

set like so many golden stars in capable of supplying a champagne a firmament of emerald, smiles lunch in honour of the birth of a back to the drooping purple Lilium son to the Governor of Tomsk. martagon. It was only by the courtesy of

On occasions the train comes to the railway officials that we pro a standstill, and

the workmen ceeded farther by rail ; however, who accompany us rush out and it was expected that the line would pull up the wild rhubarb. Scotch be open to the public as far as fir, spruce, Siberian poplar, alder, Krasnoyarsk by October of last and birch predominate. Approachyear. In two years one will prob- ing Atchinsk, however, we again ably be able to go as far as Ir come on the open plain. kutsk, and in six years more there waggon creeps nearer the town on after, Vladivostock and Paris may a side-line, we observe that we are be joined by rail.

gradually working into the midst The new train on the far side of of a large band of settlers. Sudthe river Tom is entirely com- denly there is a violent jerk, then posed of trucks filled with iron the train stops, and we find that rails and tools, except for two or we have left the rails : thus we three carriages for the inspector are conveniently situated for study and director of that division of the right in the middle of the settler line; one of these we share. There colony. is, however, one fourth-class wag It was already evening, and the gon full of labourers. At Marinsk cool night wind had begun to we pass a military train-part of blow. Reviewing the temporary the general movement of Russian camp pitched upon either side of

As our

were filling the

us, we could perceive that it con

ing purposes. See them squatting tained perhaps three hundred souls. there, in weariness of soul, killing It was only natural to find that time as best they may around a they had mostly come from South- samovar, perhaps the family heirern Russia, but had been waiting loom that once saw better days. where we found them six long Thus, then, they sat by the low fires weeks, in hope of further trans

in dark brown homespun kaftans, mission to the neighbourhood of fleecy shubas, or padded jackets, Yeneseisk.

They had much of And as they sat they talked I which to complain, and recounted know not what about, perchance how they had suffered numerically

some memories of home, while far from epidemics. Cholera, typhus, to the west the last rays of the and other loathsome enemies of declining sun mankind had walked—were walk- heavens with a purple glow. We ing--at their ease amongst them; sat by the car-window and watched thirty per cent had died. Most them in the stillness of the night: had ensconced themselves in the lee

now and again they would start up of the embankment, which at this when there was borne from some point began to rise to meet a

remoter group keeping late vigil bridge that spans the small river those soft, weird, minor melodies on which Atchinsk stands. Beside that are the priceless possession them were the railway trenches of the Russian folk. And when water-filled; clouds of mosquitoes the dying strains of the song soared filled the air. These the colonists

to a high-pitched note held by the attempted to drive away by smok- female voices, while the men pro ing, or by sitting closely round the longed it an octave lower, it seemed fires that formed the centre of like some sad musical interrogation, each family circle; or again, some plucked short half.charred sticks

Why had they left Poltava to die

on the Siberian steppe? out of the fire, and, blowing on

Next morning we left our help. them, served by the heat engen. less waggon, crossed the river by dered to protect their faces; while the ferry-boat, and started off on others sought refuge in 'shawls the last possible railway stretch in and handkerchiefs, so wrapping up a fourth-class car. their heads that only an eye remained visible. Not far remo

Now we are fairly in the Taiga,

as they call the forest zone. in little heaps, lay their worldly Siberian poplars, with ash - grey possessions,—& square box or two

stem and quivering leaves; spruces, wrapped in sacking forming the with their regular isosceles - trigroundwork, on and around which angled contours and dark shading; were bags and bundles tied with giant larches towering above their rope, untied, split, bursting, empty. fellows; cedars having peculiar A few branches bent hoopwise, branches, crowded with knob-like with either end stuck in the bunches of green needles ; Scotch ground, and interwoven with yet firs, with cinnamon-coloured upper other leafy branches, formed their trunks, toning down to sombre rude dwellings. Some, more fortu- iron-grey; birches, with pure

white nate, had improvised a tent of dirty gentle stems; and alders,--these cloth, into which they could just form the body, while the padding crawl. Others had adopted the is largely left to the smaller but

with device of the surfacemen, and ap- graceful Siberian spruce, propriated sleepers for hut-build- smoother bark and darker leaves.

Such is the Siberian jungle, now a fine building had been reared pierced by two thin lines of iron rail. in red sandstone. The bridge over At night, during this last journey, the Yenesei will be one of the the coupling-irons gave way on a masterpieces of the line. Built, somewhat steep incline, and the like them all, in the lattice-girder detached portion of the train style, its single span will have a began to roll backwards. Luckily length of over 400 sajens (2500 the man in charge of the only feet). The bridge over the Tom is brake awoke at this moment, and only about half as long as this one in a few seconds the retreat was will be, with three spans, and it stopped. He confessed, however, cost half a million roubles. that it was more owing to the Although when coming back we rough state of the line than to the joined a special waggon at a point eficiency of the brake that the run- 103 versts east of Krasnoyarsk, avay portion was so quickly con- get from this town we had to trolled. But this was not all, for begin driving on the way out. first the engine deserted the track, We constantly passed little patches and later on another waggon fol. of embankment, either finished or lowed its example, so that in all we in process of construction, or again spent exactly four days in covering as yet merely represented by three what was performed in thirty-six sticks standing in the tree-cleared hours on the homeward run. As vista, of which the outer two inHe carried workmen with us, how. dicated the extreme limit of the ever, it was only a case of waiting breadth of the embankment, while till the necessary repairs were the third attested its beight at accomplished, except in the case of the middle point. And as we the coupling-irons. The Taiga has drove on through the forest we been cut down for about 40 yards would suddenly come on the birchon either side of the embankment, bark huts of the workmen nestling making a broad clearing of 100 in the shade of the trees. The Fards or so at parts. Along the labourers, variously attired, but rough roadway, seldom devoid of with a preference for the red gradient, the weary engine toils : rubashka, sit round their fires : a at times it almost seems as if a few telegas, still heaped with goods, steeper bit of incline would be too the hobbled horses, all proclaim much for it, when suddenly with a that work has not long commenced Jerk the difficulty is overcome, at this point. In the distance the and we resume our seven miles overseer is riding away on his horse an hour, which slow rate is in to the nearest village, now that the part a precaution for safety. day's work is over. One fine morning at 3 A.M. we

It is difficult to estimate the enter the bill-encircled plain where enormous amount of labour that lies the town of Krasnoyarsk. has been expended on this railway, Piles of wood, stone, and rails in Consider how, to begin with, all dicate that here

, at any rate, is to the sleepers have been sawn tedibe a station of some dimensions ; ously by hand : the log rests at a and when towards the end of considerable elevation upon two surnmer we passed through again, props ; one man stands upon it,

T.e., we retraced most of it at the rate of 27 versts an hour, while it is asserted that Prince Khilkoff was taken over parts of the line in August of last year at 52 versts an hour.

VOL. CLXI.--.NO. DCCCCLXXV.

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The Great Siberian Iron Road.
1897.]
Such is the Siberian jungle, now

a fine building had been reared
pierced bytwo thin lines of iron rail. in red sandstone. The bridge over
At night, during this last journey, the Yenesei will be one of the
the coupling-irons gave way on a masterpieces of the line. Built,
somewhat steep incline, and the like them all, in the lattice-girder
detached portion of the train style, its single span will have a
began to roll backwards

. Luckily length of over 400 sajens (2800
Thes, the man in charge of the only feet). The bridge over the Tom is
ets.
brake awoke at this moment, and

only about half as long as this one
in a few seconds the retreat was

will be, with three spans, and it
stopped. He confessed, however, cost half a million roubles.
that it was more owing to the

Although when coming back we
rough state of the line than to the joined a special waggon at a point

103 versts east of Krasnoyarsk,
efficiency of the brake that the run-
Te

away portion was so quickly con- yet from this town we had to
trolled. But this was not all, for begin driving on the way out.

first the engine deserted the track, We constantly passed little patches
UP and later on another waggon fol- of embankment, either finished or

lowed its example, so that in all we igil

in process of construction, or again spent exactly four days in covering as yet merely represented by three dies

what was performed in thirty-six sticks standing in the tree-cleared sion

hours on the homeward run.1 As hen

vista, of which the outer two in-
we carried workmen with us, how- dicated the extreme limit of the
ared

ever, it was only a case of waiting breadth of the embankment, while
the
till the necessary repairs were the third attested its height at

And as we
accomplished, except in the case of the middle point.
med

the coupling-irons. The Taiga has drove on through the forest we
ion,

been cut down for about 40 yards die

would suddenly come on the birch-
on either side of the embankment, bark huts of the workmen nestling

making a broad clearing of 100 in the shade of the trees. The
- by

yards or so at parts. Along the labourers, variously attired, but
ron

rough roadway, seldom devoid of with a preference for the red
gradient, the weary engine toils : rubashka, sit round their fires : a
at times it almost seems as if a few telegas, still heaped with goods,
steeper bit of incline would be too the hobbled horses, all proclaim
much for it, when suddenly with a that work has not long commenced
jerk the difficulty is overcome, at this point. In the distance the

and we resume our seven miles
ices,

overseer is riding away on his horse an hour, which slow rate is in to the nearest village, now that the

part a precaution for safety.
ing;

day's work is over.
heir
One fine morning at 3 A.M. we

It is difficult to estimate the ziar

enter the hill-encircled plain where enormous amount of labour that like

lies the town of Krasnoyarsk. has been expended on this railway. otch

Piles of wood, stone, and rails in - Consider how, to begin with, all pper

dicate that here, at any rate, is to the sleepers have been sawn tedi

be a station of some dimensions; ously by hand : the log rests at a hite

and when towards the end of considerable elevation upon two hese

summer we passed through again, props; one man stands upon it, ding

1 1.e., we retraced most of it at the rate of 27 versts an hour, while it is asserted that Prince Khilkoff was taken over parts of the line in August of last

year at 52 versts an hour. eaves.

VOL. CLXI. —NO. DCCCCLXXV.

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one grey

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1897.1

working the saw downwards to each of which is held in position another man below. Then in the by two little pegs of wood. construction of any high embank Evidences of the railway accomment the supporting piles are panied us so far as we went. The driven in by a primitive contriv- clearing through the Taiga now ance, also of wood, in the form of extends throughout its length, a giant tripod, from the top of and at different points one comes which there hangs a pulley. Over on the embankment in varying this runs a rope, to one end of stages of development. Commonwhich is attached a heavy stone, ly, it is still disconnected where with level base, while the other end rivers break across its course; but is led on to a wheel at the side, the magnificent bridge over the by means of which the weight is Selenga, in the neighbourhood of raised, This arrangement is fixed Verchni-Udinsk, is now in process over each pile in turn, so that the of construction. descending stone may strike it ; It was impossible to see the thus after a generation the pile is

progress of the work round the driven home to the required depth.

south end of the Baikal Lake, as One other point may be briefly the direct route leads one naturally touched upon. Siberia, with one to traverse it by steamboat. This or two exceptions, is not in the part will involve considerable diffipossession of good roads--at least, culty, and, as it may not be ready such as could be counted on for for some time, a steamer of 4000 the transport of rails, fixed or tons is being constructed for the rolling stock. The natural course purpose of transporting the train was therefore to employ her splen- bodily across the lake. A model did waterways, and one of the first of this boat was on view at the acts of the Committee of the Trans- Nijni-Novgorod Exhibition of last Siberian Railway was to authorise summer. It is intended that it the expenditure of over a million shall make its own way across roubles on the improvement of the ice-bound lake; but instead of water communication on the rivers working on the American principle of Western Siberia, and on explora- of, as it were, climbing up on the tion of the Amur. How much ice and so breaking it down by was necessary to be done in the sheer weight, in accordance with way of deepening channels, cutting the idea of a Russian engineer the down trees which threatened to model represents the vessel as profall into the water, retaining rivers vided with a screw in the bow, in their beds, and marking danger- which, by its action near the surous places, can only be understood face of the water, might be supby those who have seen it for posed to weaken the ice. Captain themselves. How much has been Wiggins meanwhile condemns this done is only in keeping with the scheme, for however well it may really remarkable speed at which succeed with a foot of ice, it seems this whole enterprise is being car to be a very inefficient method of ried through.

coping with the thicker Baikal ice. Lastly, one is impressed with There is a twin screw-propeller at the extremely finished nature of the stern : and the bow is modelled the work : thus the side of the to have the same appearance above large brown embankment is water as the stern. Four funnels, covered often with an intinite disposed in corners of an imaginary number of small squares of turf, square, serve to give the steamer,

The Great Siberian Iron Road.

19
on the whole, a very imposing ap- be fatal to the agricultural world
pearance.

of the former, where prices are
In connection with the geological even now at a minimum.
expeditions that have also been at To obviate this, a propusal was
work on behalf of the railway, laid before the Committee of the
some excellent results have been Trans-Siberian Railway to join by
obtained. Hitherto the fuel used rail the basins of the Ob and north-
has been wood, and a recent dis- ern Dwina. The projected line
covery of coal at Pavlodar had was to start from Perm, and, pass-
not been regarded with any great ing through Viatka, to strike the
interest. More lately, however

, Dwina near the village of Kotlass,
in the Mid-Siberian district, there whence a run of 619 versts down
have been two remarkable dis- the river would bring one to Arch.
coveries of anthracite or stone coal, angel. At the present moment
but of very good quality, at points there are upwards of seventy steam
within 20 versts of the railway. craft plying on that stretch of the
Also in Trans - Baikalia, in the river. It has been estimated that
valley of the Selenga and other the cost of delivery of grain car-
places

, valuable deposits have been goes in London would be about 1 found, some of the seams averag. to 2 kopecks the pood cheaper from ing 35 feet in thickness. Tiumen, and 31 to 6.} kopecks from In its relation to Russia, it is Barnaul through Archangel

, than obvious that the new railway as through St Petersburg. In time, an exporting agency may not be with the improvement of the nav. altogether an unmixed blessing. igable condition of the Dwina and A prominent official told me that other rivers, as also by the lower it will probably involve a radical ing of the freights

, it is supposed change in the administration of that this difference would yet be

The route from more increased to the advantage Europe to Siberia through the of Archangel. The cheapening Kara Sea is still too uncertain a of grain in the Archangel inarket course to come into anything like will mean the fall of prices on general usage. Meantime an expe- all the White Sea coast, and dition is engaged in hydrographical will provide the possibility in the work in these regions; and the widest measure of increasing the lapse of a few years may make a sea industry, which is now declingreat change in the point of view ing year by year, and passing into from which this passage is re- the hands of the Norwegians

. The
garded at the present moment. estimated cost of this railway is
Bat Siberia requires some cheap 55 million roubles (£5,500,000).

now by A commencement was made in
which to export her produce. 1895, and in time the line will
The yearly excess of grain avail- be brought into direct connection
able for export is 9 to 12 million with the other branches of the
poods (pood = 36 lb. Eng.) A mo- Russian railway system. Such, at
ment's thought will serve to show least, is Prince Khilkoff's dream,
how the great railway, mainly in which many, however, loudly pro-
its function of populating the coun: phesy will result in failure, ascrib-
try

, will soon augment this large ing it to what they deem to be his
quantity

. At the same time, to over-eagerness in Russian railway

this matter.

convenient way even

flood the already crowded Russian extension. markets with Siberian corn would One feature about the ruilway

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