The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Map of Rail Lines Conceded to the Grand Societie des Chemins de Fer Russies

Harvard Library Catalog Entry

Title: Carte des chemins de fer concédés à la Grande société des chemins de fer russes par l'ukase de S.M. l'Empereur de Russie : en date du 26 janvier-7 février 1857 : [Russie européenne]
Author / Creator: Andriveau-Goujon, J. [publisher] 
Published: Paris : J. Andriveau-Goujon éditeur, [1857?]
Description: Scale approximately 1:3,500,000 (E 019.4--E 056.3/N 063.3--N 041.2). // 1 map : hand colored; 74 x 89 cm
Language: French
Notes: Relief shown by hachures and spot heights.
Alternate title at lower left: Réseau des chemins de fer concédés à la Grande société des chemins de fer russes.
Base map is "Extrait de la Carte de l'Europe Orientale publiée par J. Andriveau Goujon."
Paris meridian.
Includes statistical table.
Author / Creator: Glavnoe obshchestvo rossīĭskikh zheli︠e︡znykh dorog 
Other title: Réseau des chemins de fer concédés à la Grande société des chemins de fer russes.
Chemins de fer russes.
Creation Date: [1857?]
HOLLIS Permalink:

What the map will tell you, if you look long enough

Rail lines make places farther away
The absolute distance from Warsaw to St. Petersburg, measured using a straight edge and the map scale, is 900 versts. The length of the rail line given in the statistical table is 1,010 versts (1.073 km). The absolute distance from Feodosiia to Moscow is 1,080 versts: the rail line runs 1,180...

X does not mark the spot
The rail lines to which the society won concessions ran north south, from St. Petersburg to Feodosiia, and west-east, from the border of the Russian Empire in Poland (near Olkusz) to Nizhnii Novgorod. While one might expect Moscow to have served as the central pivot, it did not. At Vitebsk, the rail line makes a southern turn to Mogilev, before heading east to Orel, then north to Kolomna and Moscow.

Rivers end in the strangest places
Well, the navigable stretches certainly do. A merchant who chose to offload goods from railcars at Kolomna and continue downstream on the Moksha would eventually find himself sailing past the small town of Troitsk and continuing a few versts farther only to find that the river, for all intents and purposes, came to an end. Smack dab in the middle of Penza province. With no obvious connections to other navigable rivers, rail lines, or even post routes.

Just because there is a river, it doesn't mean you can float things on it
...Especially if the things are big or heavy. The Ingul River, for example, which flows south from Elisavetgrad to Kherson Bay (on the Black Sea), is navigable only along its lowest reaches, from Nikolaev south to the sea, meaning that for all intents and purposes, it was an unnavigable river. 

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