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806 M tiou, 800.) Railroad re.staurant. Arte-
sian wells are the source of the water
supply. The water is slightly 'brownish
and contains lime. About 40.00<» pe'jple
north and south of the railroad use the
station for freight shipments. No less
than 40,000 tons of grain are shipped west-
ward annually. This section is one of the
richest farming regions in Siberia. Rye,
wheat, oats, and peas are the favorite
crops.

Railroad runs through ravines of the
Tuknian and crosses the River Kanienka
by a lOo-foot bridge. Three sidings are
passed and a road crossed.



1.2S1 V


849 M


1.292 V


857 M



CHELYABINSK. 28

3,982 M 1,250 V Chumlyak. (Altitude, 560 feet.) Village of
S29 M same name 8 miles from station. Popu-
lation, 2,000. Station has important grain
shipments. Two sidings are passed be-
fore the next station. The line runs
through a region generally wooded and at
times swampy.

4.U02 M 1.2S1 V Kayasan. Small station. Beyond it the
Chumlyak River is crossed by a 70-foot
bridge.

4,009 M 1.292 V Chernyavskaya. Located in a flat, swampy
district covered with young birch. A farm-
ing tract, with 5,000 inhabitants, lies
tributary to this station. The water is
especially unhealthful in this vicinity.
Sliallow lakes are comnifin. The line now
departs from its former straight-away
course as the region is less flat. Five sid-
ings or platform stops are passed before
Chelyabinsk is reached.

4,037 M 1,333 V Chelyabinsk. (Altitude, 760 feet; popula-
884 M tiou, 70,000. ) Unfortified. The city is 2i
miles from the station on the Miass River.
Near the station are large wooden barracks
(capacity 40,000 to 50,000 men), built for
use during the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-5.
(See fig. 5.)

Character. — Although Chelyal)insk is the
largest and richest city in the Province of
Orenburg, the city is not progressive in its
appearance. The streets are unu.^ually
broad and sti-aight, but as only a few of
the main streets are pave<l. the side streets
are bog holes in the rainy season and dusty
in the dry season. Wooden sidewalks.
The streets are dirty, the houses ill kept,
and the hotels poor.



24 OMSK TO CHELYABINSK.



Military imporUmce. — The military value
of Chelyabinsk lies in the transportation
routes which converge upon the city and in
the mineral deposits of the vicinity. Beside^
the direct railroad between ^loscow and
Omsk (Routes L and M) there is another to
Petrograd via Yekaterinlnirg. and still an-
other to Kustanai and Troitsk at the south-
east. There are also roads from the north,
east, and west.

The mineral deposits include important
iron and gold mines in the Urals at the west,
reached by Route M and described in con-
nection with that route in this handbook,
and a coal mine 10 miles distant from th<^
city. The only means available for trans-
porting the coal are wagons, but a railway
line is under construction. The coal lies in
solid beds near the surface of the gi-ound, so
that it is mined by the open-pit method.
Shafts, however, will probably be built as
the works develop. The output resembles
cannel coal, but it has a lower ignition point
than that variety. It is of poor quality and
is not suitable for locomotives.

Military facilities. — Besides the barracks
mentioned above there is a good camp site
on high ground between the railroad station
and the town. The suitability of this site
depends on the fact that the city aqueduct
passes close by. Recent reports, however,
indicate that at the present time the city
water system is not in woi-king order. For
transport no motor trucks or gasoline
launches are a^'ailable nor are there any
gasoline supplies on hand. During the revo-
lutionary period great numbers of transport



CHELYABINSK. 25

animals were killed for food. Be.sides tlu-
large railway shops there is a repair shoj*
for agricultural machinery. As the country
is flat many good sites for aeroplane land-
ings may be found. Hospital facilities are
good.

Communications. — Besides the railway
communications mentioned above, water
transportation is available. The River
Miass can be navigated by shallow draft
barges. The country roads in this region
are fairly good even for automobiles. A
good motor road connects the city with
Orenburg. The Government telegraph and
telephone systems are good.

Inhabitants. — Kirghiz of Tartar origin
with some Great Russians. The intelligent
classes are friendly and the others, though
poor as laborers, are tractable.

Food. — Being close to the agricultural
regions in the neighborhood of Kurgan, food
is cheaper and better than at Yekaterin-
burg.

Fuel. — Cordwood is used for fuel, but the
supply is limited and it is therefore very
expensive. The new coal field recently dis-
covered lying just east of the city will re-
lieve the situation. In the past coal was
procured fi-om the Orenburg mines.

Health. — Since the water system installed
four years ago Is not now in working order,
water of poor quality is procured directly
from the river. There is no sewerage sys-
tem. Sewage is carried out of the city and
dumped into pits. Consequently health con-
ditions are very poor.



26 OMSK TO CHELABINSK.



Indnstriea and trade. — FarinlnKand flour
milling are the chief industries. Their raw
materials, hides, and grain are contributed
by the important farming region which sur-
rounds the city. A grain elevator near the
station has a capacity of 9,000 tons. Chelya-
binsk returns to the farms agricultural im-
plements. For storing these it has large
warehouses. Two of these are American
owned and ordinarily hold products from
the International Harvester Co. and the
Moline Plow Co. About 80,000 head of cat -
tie pass thi'ough the stockyards annuall.\.
About 600,000 tons of farm products are
ordinarily sent westward each year.




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Route M.

RAILROAD— CHELYABINSK TO SYZRAN.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION.

MILITARY VALUE.

The railroad from Chelyabinsk to Syzran is of military im-
portance for the following reasons: First, it constitutes a
section of the most direct route from Siberia to Moscow. Second,
it passes through a section of the Urals particularly rich in iron
aud copper deposits. Moi'eover, the deposits are extensively
worked and the metals manufactured into finished products
within the region traversed by this route. Third, this route is
one of two which must be used as supply lines if a battle front
is maintaint'd along the ^'(»Iga or farther west. Fourth, the
region traversed by the route ordinarily has .•> great surplus of
food products, especially cereals and animals. The surplus of
cereals usually exi)orted varies from 7 to 21 bushels i)er inhabi-
tant. Fifth, this is the .shortest railway route from Siberia to
Turkestan.
STRATEGIC CENTERS. In order from east to west.

Chelyabinsk. (Population, 70.(100.) Treated in Iloute I..

Zlatoust. (Pop»l:^tion. 34.000.) The value of Zlatoust as a
strategic center lies in the highly productive iron mines of the
neighborhood, aud the iron manufjicturiug upon which tlie town
thrives. The most important manufacturing from the military
viewpoint is carried on in the Government arsenal, where side
arms, bayonets, guns, rifles, machine guns, and other weapons
are made.

Ufa. (Population, 106,000.) The strategic imi»ortance of
Ufa arises from its location at the .iunction of three railways ami
four important roads. One railway comes from the east, another
from the west, and the third from the southwest. Of the four
roads, one comes from the east, paralleling the Trans-Siberian
Railway and meets the one from the southwest, which also paral-
lels that railroad. These two constitute the Great Trans-
34



TERRAIN. 36

Siberian Highway. Tlie other two come from the north and
.soutli from important towns. Ufa also has large iron and
copper works.

Samara. (Population, 144,000.) Samara is the largest cen-
ter on this route and the most important strategically. Five
first-class lines of transportation converge upon the city ; a
direct railroad from Moscow, another from Vladivostok, and a
lliird from Turkestan. The fourth first-class route is up the
navigable Volga, and the fifth is down the Volga. Samara is
considered the best port on that river. Another phase of the
military importance of the city is the many military con-
veniences it possesses. A large force may be accommodated
with detraining and entraining convenience.s, barracks, drill
grounds, hospitals, etc. i'

Syzran. (Population. 48,000.) Like Samara, Syzran enjoys
navigation on the Volga, but it lacks a good site for a port. Be-
sides the railway from the east, it has two railways from
JMoscow. As the keeper of the Alexander Bridge across the
Volga, Syzran is of high military importance.
TERRAIN.

onc-fiflh of the route is through a rugged section of the
Ural Mountains. Along this section many of the slopes are
steep and flie valleys narrow. A few heights, such as IJrenga
(a ridge near Zlatoust), I'each beyond the tree line, but in
general the nu>untaius and their foothills are naturally well
wooded.

The other four-fifths of the route, including a short section
between Clielyabinsk and the Urals, are made up of a plain,
below which rivers have cut deep valleys. From the bottom
of one of the deep valleys the terrain above may seem almost
mountainous, so long are the slopes and so rugged does the region
appear. But when viewed from the summit of one of the flat-
topi)ed liills. it is apparent that the flat tops of the hills all lie
in the same plane. The hilltops are a thousan<i feet above sea
level near the Urals, whereas they are only a few hundred near
Samara. (Photos Nos. 6 and 7.)



36 CHELYABINSK TO SYZRAN.

SOIL AND AGRICULTURE.

A thick Inyer of black earth covers most of the region tra-
versed by this route ; hence with favoring climatic conditions
larniing succeeds as a rule. Occasionally, however, adverse
cliiiiatic coixlitions bring failure of crops and famine. At .such
times (liousands die from the hunger typhus and other thousands
have to migrate in search of work along the Volga.

The leading crops are rye, wheat, oats, barley, millet, buck-
wheat, and potatoes. Melons and sunflower are also extensively
cultivated. Live-stock raising comes in for much attention. The
exported farm products are chiefly the cereals.
MINES.

The fifth of the route tliat traverses the Ural Mountains taps
many iron and copper mines. Near Miass gold is also found.
This may be considered one of the most active mining sections
of Russia.
MANUFACTURING. "

Manufacturing centers in dairies, creameries, flour mills, anil
meat-packing plants, found throughout the entire route, even in
the mountains, and in metal industries, which are scattered
near the mines in the Urals and among the western foothills.
The products range from pig iron and steel plate to hardware,
munitions of war, and bridges. Manufacture of machinery is
not attempted. (Photo No. 8.)
INHABITANTS.

Nearly SO per cent of the people are Great and Little Rus- .
siaus, and nearly 10 per cent of the remainder are Germans.
Many of these are thoroughly Russianized, however, since their
ancestors caine to Russia about 176:1.
STATISTICS.

In reading the accounts of manufacturing towns in the fol-
lowing pages, it must be remembered that the statistics are
misleading. For example, if a given factory is said to employ
2,000 men, it means that this is the total number of entries in the
company's books. The same name may appear half a doze)i



POLETAYEVO TO KUSTANAI. 37

times if a man Avorks a few weelcs and then quits, only to come
baclv again. Moreover, tlie men wlio are reported as employeil
in a factory may actually be at work miles away cutting wood
(in the mountains, digging ore In the mine, or driving a sledgo
to carry the ore scores of miles from mine to factory. It must
also be remembered that the methods employed iii all jjrocesses
from the mine to the finished product are usually primitive, .so
that the product per man is very low.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION.

Miles Distance

from from

Vludivustok.Chelya'binsk.

4,042 Chelyabinsk. (See Route L.)

From Chelyabinsk, Route M runs soulii-
west near the edge of the Miass Valley.
The line soon ascends to the gold mines of
Krasheninnikov. A small branch of the
Miass, the Birgilda, is spanned by a 70-
foot bridge.
24V Poletayevo. A branch railro.ul (Ml) runs
16 M south.

ROUTE M. BRANCH 1.

POLETAYEVO TO KUSTANAI.

From Pole-
tayevo.

Poletayevo I (Samara-Zlatoust Statiou). From

the Samara-Zlatoust station the route runs to the
southern part of the town.
M V

2 3 Poletayevo II (Troitsk station). Tiie line con-

tinues due south across an upland surface,
m 29 Yemanzhelinskaya. Near the head of a valley

tributary to the Uvelka Valley. The route pro-
ceeds down the valley passing tlu> large Lake
Sarikul on the east.



38 CHELYABINSK TO SYZHAN.

43 65 Nizhne-Uvelskaya. Kiiilroad restaurant. On the

loft sloi)e of the Uvelka Valley. A road and tele-
graph line come in from the northwest. The
railroad passes down the valley of the Uvelka
following the left slope.
68 103 Troitsk. Population, 25,000. liailroad restaurant.
Situated in the valley where the Uvelka River
empties into the Ui River. The city has grown
rapidly in recent years. Besides the usual gov-
ernment buildings, it has 10 churches of the
Greek religion and 6 Mohammedan mosques.
There are also a liifeh school for girls and boys
and several substantial business houses. Military
barracks and a liospital are located on the out-
skirts.

A fair held from July to October lias a normal
turnover of 4,000,000 rubles. European articles,
such as metallic products, paper, sugar, and
woolen goods, are exchanged for products of the
Steppes, such as raw wool, felt, furs, hides, horses,
sheep, and fruits from irrigated lands. During
the fair the town is able to supply a large volume
of these goods. There is a small volume of trade
in food products for the Ural gold mines at the
west.

About 40 industrial establishments employ
1,500 men and women.

Tanning, the making of leather goods, and iron-
working are the chief industrial activities.

Troitsk is an important transportation center.
A road and telegraph line come in from Verkhne-
Uralsk at the west. Another road goes eastward
down the Uvelka Valley. A third comes in from
the north. Still another follows the railroad to
Troitsk and beyond to Kustanai.

It is reported that a railroad projected from
Troitsk through Varshavskaya to Orenburg, 315



VERKHNE-URALSK. 39

miles to the southwest, has been built at least In
part by war prisoners.
Verkhne-Uralsk. Population, l.j.OOO. An impor-
tant town about 190 versts (12G miles) west of
Troitsk. The capital of the province of the same
name, on the left bank of the Ural Rivor. It lias
no railroad connection.

The town lias a rapidly growins^ Irade with the
Kirghiz in cattle, sheep, and animal products,
which are forwarded to European Russia. Fairs
are held July 29 and August 29 (old style), or
August 11 and September 11 (new style).

On leaving Troitsk, Route M 1 crosses the Ui
River to the right and follows it to the south-
east. The line gradually climbs out of the valley
and strikes a di'y and sparsely populated up-
land dotted with shallow lakes and ponds. Cat-
tle raising is almost the exclusive occupation
from this section to the end of the railroad.
80 121 Koyerak. Small station on the u]>hnul surfa(H'.
The route continues southeast. At al)out verst
156 it descends the left slope of a valley tributary
to the Ui River.

105 159 Toguzak. A village in the bottom of the valley.
The river is crossed and the line ascends froui
the valley to the upland. The route strikes
northeast across a dry, grassy plain, which is
very sparsely populated. Trees are entirely
lacking.

130 196 Jar Kul. A collecting point for export cattle.

156 2;^5 Ozyornaya. A convenient place for assembling cat-
tle for the railroad. At about verst 266 descent
begins into the valley of the Tobol.

177 268 Kustanai. (Population, 14,000, 3.000 of which are
Kirghiz.) ^he railroad ternunal in the valley
of the Tobol. A road runs north down the Tobol
valley. The town has important trade with the



40 CHELYABINSK TO SYZRAN.

Kirghiz in cattle, sheep, and potatoes. Tliere
are tanneries and tallow works. Fairs are held
at which cattle are sold. The town has a
cathedral and a number of schools. The ad-
joining steppe is fertile.

CONTINUATION OF ROUTE M.

From Ghelyabinsk. From Poletayevo Koute M diverges from the
Miass Valley and runs due west. In this vicinity
a broad upland tract is crossed where gold is
mined from veins, while in the valleys gravel
Is washed for gold. A 140-foot bridge takes the
railroad across the small Bishkil River.

M. V.

32 48 Bishkil. The highway from Chelyabinsk strikes

southwest from the village. The railroad as-
cends as it continues west. At about verst 63 it
enters a branch valley of the Ubedka River.

4.') 68 Chebarkul. The village is near the station on

Chebarkul Lake. From Chebarkul the railroad
follows the narrow and uneven isthmus between
Lake Chebarkul and Lake Yelovy and then be-
gins to climb the Ilmen ridge, which forms part
of the foothills of the Ural Mountains proper.
Beyond the height of land the road descends
into the Miass Valley.

60 90 Miass. (Altitude, 1.115 feet.) Railroad restau-

rant. A busy gold-mining center situated in the
INliass Valley on Lake Ilmen. The highway
from Chelyabinsk enters Miass from the south.
The surrounding region is rugged and forested.
A small force might effectively cut the route at
this point. The Miass metal works, founded in
1777, stand 4 miles ffom the station in a deep
valley inclosed by the Chashkov Mountains.
Formerly the works smelted copper, but now



MIASS. 41

they are operated by the goUl-miuing couupauy.
At the works there is a town with many shops,
stores, and stone houses. There are also two
libraries and a club. In ordinary times the
workmen number about 3,000 and the population
exceeds 14,000.

The Ilmen mines, which are near the station,
are connected with the Miass works by a nar-
row-gauge line, amply provided with trucks and
engines. The gold-bearing strata contain clayey
sand with a mixture of pebbles and gravel. In
them are found fragments of quartz, gneiss, and
flinty slate. A ton of gravel yields from 9 to 21
grains of gold.

From Chelyabinsk to Miass the railroad is sin-
gle tracked. At Miass, however, the track be-
comes double and so continues for 153 miles to
Simskaj'a. On leaving Miass the railroad crosses
the Miass River on a 175-foot bridge and climbs
into the Ural Mountains proper. The gi'ades are
heavy, and many windings and zigzags are made
to keep them within normal limits. The water-
shed l)etween the Miass and Atlian Rivers is soon
crossed, and the line descends into the Atlian
Valley. The Atlian River is spanned by a 105-
foot bridge. Another watershed is then climbed
and descent is made into the valley of the Little
Syrostan. The line twice crosses the Little
Syrostan River, effecting a circuit of IJ miles.
Then the climb continues in the most ruggeil
part of the Urals crossed l»y this railroad.
74 111 Syrostan. Small station, surrounded by mountains.
The village of the same name is located within
one-half mile.

The railroad begins an ascent along tlie riglit
l)ank of the Bolshaya (Great) Syrostan. Tlie bare
stone ridges, which constitute the summit of Alex-



42 CHELYABINSK TO SYZRAN.

auder Cone, altitude .'i.oOO teet, s(xjn come into
view, and remain visible for some time. The
River Bolshaya-Syrostan, a brancli of the Miass,
is crossed by a 12G-foot bridge of three spans, one
of 70 feet and two of 28 feet. Here the railroad
bef^ins its ascent to the juain summit of the line by
zigzags of about 3 unles in length. Beyond ver.st
l.'U the summit is reached. It is marked by a
stone pyramid inscribed " Europe " on the west
side and "Asia " on tli<! east. Just beyond i<
I'rzluunka.
SS 1?!2 Urzhumka. (Altitude 1,859 feet.) The statitm
stands in a place remote from all habitation in a


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Online LibraryUnited States. War Dept. Military Intelligence DivSiberia and eastern Russia (Volume 4) → online text (page 2 of 11)