Trans-Siberian Main Line celebrates centenary
A bridge in Khabarovsk across the Amur River was opened to regular traffic on 5 October 1916, completing the last stretch of the Trans-Siberian Main Line.
At 2,568 metres, the construction became the longest bridge in Eurasia at the time thus became known as the " Amur Miracle."
The Trans-Siberian is the longest railway line in the world, with a total length of 9,288.2 km. The Trans-Siberian begins at Yaroslavl railway station in Moscow and ends at Vladivostok on Russia's Pacific coast.
Construction of the Great Siberian Route, as it was then known, began in the town of Kyperovskaya Pad near Vladivostok in May 1891. The then 23-year-old crown Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich, the future emperor Nicholas II, loaded a wheelbarrow full of earth, took it to the embankment and laid the station's foundation stone to the strains of an orchestra.
Subsequently renamed the Trans-Siberian, the line linked up European Russia with Siberia and the Far East.
The line now passes through 8 time zones and across two continents, with 19.1% of the length lying in Europe and 80.9% in Asia. It cuts through 11 oblasts, 5 territories, 2 republics, 1 autonomous region of the Russian Federation and 88 cities and crosses 16 major rivers.
The line is the longest of any passenger route in the world.
Train No. 1/2 Russia takes 6 days and 10 minutes to cover the distance between Moscow and Vladivostok.
The Trans-Siberian plays an important role in Russia's social and economic development.
The regions through which the line passes extract 65% of Russia's coal, account for 20% of the country's oil refining and produce 25% of its timber production.
The Trans-Siberian provides access to the Far East using the rail networks of North Korea, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan and to the West and European countries via Russia's ports and border crossings.
In 2015, the Trans-Siberian transported 113.1 million tons of freight on export, import and transit routes.
Russian Railways is implementing the project "Trans-Sib in 7 days", which allows shippers to deliver freight within a week from Russia's Far Eastern seaports to the country's western borders.
Since 2013, Russian Railways has been implementing a railway infrastructure development project in Russia's eastern region with regard to the Baikal-Amur (BAM) and Trans-Siberian Main Lines.
This project is being carried out by order of the President of the Russian Federation and the Government. Its completion by 2020 will enable Russian companies to export annually up to an additional 66 million tons of freight, which will contribute to the growth of industrial production, job creation, creation of conditions for the sustainable development of Siberia and Russia's Far East. Total investment in the project will amount to 562 billion roubles.
During 2013-2015, Russian Railways spent 148.1 billion roubles on modernising BAM and the Trans-Siberian, developing and lengthening 97 km of station tracks, building 154 km of second tracks, modernising and renovating about 3,000 km of track and laying 1,500 turnout switches.