The most important of the new railways is the Siberian, of which the first section, Chelyabinsk to Omsk, was opened in December 1895, and which, except for a short section round Lake Baikal, in 1901 was completed right through to Stryetensk, on the Shilka, the head of navigation on the Shilka and the Amur, 2710 m.
From Chelyabinsk and 4076 miles from Moscow, via Samara and Chelyabinsk.
Chelyabinsk was linked by a transverse line with the middle Urals railway, which connects Perm, the head of navigation in the Volga basin, with Tyumen, the head of navigation on the Ob and Irtysh, passing through Ekaterinburg and other mining centres of the middle Urals.
It was supposed at that time that this line would form part of the projected trans-Siberian railway; but it was finally decided, in 1885, to give a more southerly direction to the railway and to continue the Moscow-Samara line to Ufa, Zlatoust in the Urals, and Chelyabinsk on the west Siberian prairies, at the head of one of the tributaries of the Ob.
Returning westwards, Chelyabinsk has been connected with Ekaterinburg (153 m.); and a branch line has been built from the main Siberian line to Tomsk (54 m.).