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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 8 (April 1, 1932.)

Yesterday and To-day

Yesterday and To-day.

The Great War stopped the development of the Russian railways at the moment of their greatest expansion. The Caspian railway, the Black Sea railway, the Middle-Asia railway were nearly finished, page 30 and Russia constructed her last railway during the War, at Murman, connecting the capital with the White Sea, to have communication with the Allies.

During the revolution an enormous amount of damage was done to the Russian railways, and a really vast field of further development and reconstruction work is now facing the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics, which took the place of the old administrators.

An interesting alteration is introduced now in the working of the Soviet railways. The old regime was running passenger trains supplied with carriages of three different classes—I. II. and III.—making a serious difference in fares and accommodation. The difference in classes was abolished, but the carriages containing arm-chairs and divans were still attractive, so the U.S.S.R, decreed to continue to run them as well as the third class carriages, but to call the first class carriages “soft cars” and the third class carriages “hard cars,” charging different fares accordingly.

The transportation of goods and produce from the Trans-Siberian railway to China finishes at a station called Chanchun, in Manchuria. Here the Russian gauge ends, and the goods must be transhipped into Japanese goods wagons, only to proceed a short distance to Mukden, whence the Chinese railways accept transport.