Rostov-on-Don: Goskhromolitografiya im. Il’icha, 1933-1934. Item #1556
49x61.2. Larged folding double-sided map. In a very good condition. A few tears at the on the extremities of the innet compartments slightly affecting the image and text.
This double-sided map shows the railway, water, and road networks of both the European and Asian parts of the Soviet Union in 1933-1934.
The history of the railway network in Russia goes back to 1837, when the first public railway line Tsarskyoe Selo began its functioning. After that, the number of railway links gradually increased in the European part of the country, while the Asian portion remained almost untapped. The situation changed in the late-19th century with Tsar’s order to construct the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) connecting Moscow with Vladivostok. The construction of the world’s largest railway gave an impetus to the emergence of new railway links both in the European and Asian parts of the country. As a result, Russia entered the phase of Communism with one of the most developed railway systems, which continued to progress further. By the mid-1930s, the Soviet transportation system counted dozens of railway links (including electrified lines - an industrial spur from Baku to Surakhany; 1926) stretching across the country.
The map shows the detailed state of the Soviet railway network as of 1933 and 1934. The map includes 2 smaller insets depicting the environs of Moscow and Leningrad and the railway lines active on the territory (North-Western Railways; October railway; Ryazan-Ural railway, Moscow-Kursk railway, etc.). The map also shows one of the most important products of the first five-year plan - the Turksib railway network. Connecting Central Asia with Siberia, Turkestan-Siberia Railway opened in 1932 and became the most important railway network in the Asian portion of the Soviet Union after TSR. The map is particularly important, as the railway network was one of the most volatile aspects of the Soviet transportation system, and many of the railway stations were either eliminated or merged together in the mid-1930s.
The map depicts the water and road systems of the 1933-1934 Soviet Union. At the time of the publication, the Soviet road system was considered the least-developed realm of the National economy. Although between 1928 and 1932 the Bolsheviks constructed nearly 60,000 miles (96,560 kilometers) of roads, this number was considered inadequate compared to the size of the country. As a result, by the mid-1930s a decent road system was present only in the major cities of the European portion of the Soviet Union, while roads in the Asian part were mostly damaged or broken.
In contrast to the road system, the waterway system was one of the most developed spheres of the Soviet economy. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, the new regime decided first on reconstruction and then on expansion and modernization of the inland waterway system. The plan encompassed opening to navigation, or expanding navigation on, major rivers, particularly in the Asian part of the Soviet Union. As a result, the early-1930s witnessed the construction of one of the most important Soviet canals, White Sea-Baltic Canal (227 kilometers long). Considering that the canal opened in 1933, the map might be one of the first cartographic pieces indicating the newly-built waterway.
Overall, the map provides rare illustrative insights into different aspects of the transportation system of the Soviet Union. All signs are explained in the lower part of the maps.
No copies found in Worldcat.