The History of Construction

The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway is connected with The Great Tea Route. In the 17th century tea reached Russia and found many followers in the tzar's court. As a result, a great tea trade began between Russia and China. Tea was transported by caravans through the trade route. This route began business cooperation and brought two countries closer to each other. The Great Tea Route gave rise to the exchange of goods and cultural and logistic exchange. More people were travelling to China or Russia and back. Those were the foundations under the later construction of the railway route that is the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The idea of building the Trans-Siberian Railway appeared in the middle of the 19th century. The construction of the railway based on the tea route was above all to make trade easier and quicker. Many Russians saw in the construction project great possibilities of development, among others: the opening of the market, the acceleration of business and cultural exchange, making communication easier, reaching new roads and so on. Only writing the project for the railway lasted about 20 years, but Russian engineers didn't receive the approval straight away. Only when the tsar of Russia was Alexander III, in the beginning of the 80s of the 19th century, first works over the construction of the main line started. At the end of the 80s of the 19th century to Siberia came first experts whose task was to explore the terrain and design first sections of the route. In 1891 the son of tsar Alexander III, the future tsar Nicolas II laid the foundation stone in Vladivostok under the construction of the biggest construction project in then contemporary world. A year later the Committee of the Trans-Siberian Railway led by Nicolas II was established. The committee's task was to coordinate construction works, to open and promote Siberia and develop trade relations with Russia. A very important aim of building the main line was the integration of remote regions of Russia, the development and colonisation of Siberia and gaining influence over this area. Siberia is rich in mineral deposits, and Russia didn't want to give precedence to China. Then Russian authorities decided to built the railway from their own means, without the interference of foreign capital. They were afraid of losing control and influences in Siberia and the Far East.

Thanks to the construction of the railway the industry was developed and thousands of people found new home and jobs. The colonisation of Siberia started to gain monumentum, new villages were built, as well as new towns and cities, trade and agriculture were developing at a very fast pace. Due to the construction of the railway national identity increased and Russian authorities achieved another aim - distant areas were preserved from being self-sufficient and striving for independence. At the beginning of the 20th century the inhabitants of Siberia were mainly Russian people. The Trans-Siberian Railway was built in the years 1891-1916. Initially the railway route included Chelyabinsk - Vladivostok, and led from the mountain chains of Ural to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. In the construction of bridges over wide Siberian rivers many notable experts and qualified engineers, also from Poland, took part.