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Sammelband on the Development of New Lines - RUSSIAN RAILWAYS] - - 1859. [1202938]
Various printers publishers and places Skt. Peterburg and Paris -65 1859 - Six works and four maps in a volume 8vo (19.5 x 13 cm). 12, 8, 14, 18, 32 (unopened), half-title and 39 pp. incl. title (partly unopened), one manuscript map on linen-backed calc paper signed by J. A. Roberti and 3 large lithographed folding maps, incl. the largest in duplicate, one with contemporary hand-colour and one with handwritten additions signed by Roberti; slight surface dirt, tears to manuscript map, its upper margin cropped with loss of dedication line. Contemporary cloth, gilt lettering to spine, paper label with a shelf mark; boards lightly rubbed, spine lightly faded, one of the larger maps and the manuscript map disbound. A fascinating and unique insight into the expansion of the Russian railways towards Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia, with a focus on the financing issues. Russia had an early start in railway construction in 1837 with the opening of the relatively small St. Petersburg - Tsarskoe Tselo line, which predated many of Europe's first attempts in the construction of national railways. However, in the crucial period of the 1840s, Russia fell drastically behind other national railway projects. While Austria, France and Germany busied themselves with railway networks that would rapidly cover most of Western Europe, the Russian Empire did not invest in railways for another twenty years, until Russia's defeat in the Crimean war exposed the country's backwardness and its lack of suitable military and civilian infrastructure. When Alexander II ascended to the throne in 1855, he was eager to modernise the country, starting with the expansion of its railways. The long awaited line between the two capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg, was finally launched and the first commercial enterprise to build and run the Russian railways, La Grande Société des Chemins de Fer Russes, was set up in 1857, backed by Russian and international investors. The involvement of foreign interests in a project of this magnitude demonstrates how building a railway network across Russia that could connect the Empire's commercial routes and natural resources to the rest of the world was not only an issue of domestic policy, but a matter of "international politics" (Rieber, 1973, 380). The present volume offers a great insight into the issues raised by the planning of new lines, especially towards the Southern parts of European Russia, and their sometimes complex financing. Most of the printed text indeed deals with yield on investments, concessions to foreign companies (especially British) and international cost comparisons, providing valuable and surprising information. It shows very clearly which questions and motivations each party had, from the Finance Minister to the Railways Company among others. It is accompanied by rare maps of first interest. Two of them are signed by a J.A. Roberti, who could well be the first owner of this collection: he drew a fully manuscript map, dated 1864 and dedicated to a high-ranked official, indicating "lines, of which one tries/we try to obtain the concession". Next to existing European and Russian lines, it shows a proposed extension in the territory of modern Ukraine and Belorussia, connecting Vitebsk-Kiev-Odessa, as well as the exciting project of a line through to nowadays Chechnya and Daghestan, and of another line to nowadays Kazakhstan. The largest map, measuring almost 1m unfolded (64.5 x 94 cm), is present in duplicate, with one copy bearing extensive corrections and additions by Roberti. Dated 1863, it shows the existing Russian railways, and the planned expansion towards Ukraine and Southern Russia. Still in project, this expansion is detailed in a separate, folding map, with contemporary hand-colour, which shows and compares different expansion projects, together with important local data - such as the location of iron mines. The volume contains: 1- ???? ??????? ????? ???????? ????? ??????????? ??????, ???????????? ? ??????? ?????????? ????? ????????? ? ????????? ?????? (offprint o [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-09-21           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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