Siberian tract

The Main Siberian Postal Tract, the Great Siberian Tract, the Great Tract, the Great Tract, the Moscow Tract, the Moscow - Irkutsk Tract, the Moscow - Siberian Tract, the Seventh State Road or the Sovereign Road is the world's largest transcontinental land highway.

The Moscow - Siberian Highway has many names. There are much more names of settlements through which it ran. Some of them appeared on the map only because of this road, others received additional development along with the construction of the highway.

There are many bitter memories of the highway associated with the staging of convicts, but it was exactly this road that gave a huge impetus to the development of Siberia. The Great Tract allowed the regions of the European part of the Russian state to enter new trade routes in the Asian part, reaching China.

The Moscow - Siberian Highway was built and officially legalized in 1763. It passed from Moscow to Tyumen and Tobolsk via Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Kungur and Yekaterinburg.

This road gradually took a leading position for traveling from Moscow to Siberia and back. She took away the palm from the Babinovskaya road, opened in 1597, not to mention the earlier roads — Cherdynskaya, Chusovskaya and Staraya Kazanskaya.

The road was originally intended only for courier service. But in the thirties of the 18th century, permission was also given for trading people. Continuing the history of the tract, in 1754 the Senate ordered the establishment of postal stations on the tract. Such a station, the 13th in a row from Perm, appeared in Bilimbai. Nine years later, regular traffic opened on this section, and in 1783 the government officially legalized the great Moscow - Siberian highway.

Petty bazaar in Irkutsk (XIX century)
In 1824, Emperor Alexander I passed through the Siberian Highway .

By the beginning of the 19th century, the Moscow - Siberian Highway gained fame as a thorny and martyr's way to the Siberian Calvary. Among the people, the name «Vladimirki» was fixed for him.

The stage movement was regulated by the «Charter on Stages» adopted in 1822, which defined the principles of the arrangement of prisons, the order of movement of exiled parties, the duties and rights of commanders and soldiers of the guard, the system of accounting for displaced prisoners. The control center of the exile - stage case was the Order on exiles in the city of Tobolsk. The routine of movement of prisoners along the Siberian Highway was as follows: after every two days of travel, a day of rest followed in a transit prison or in a stage hut. Stage huts were available at almost every postal station, with an interval of twenty-five to thirty versts. If a prisoner fell ill or died, he was put on a cart and taken after the others. So the well-known saying «bring them dead or alive» was born.

One of the most famous among the first people who went to Siberia to serve their sentence in 1790 was the writer Alexander Nikolaevich Radishchev, the author of the story «Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow». In 1797, Paul I pardoned the disgraced writer and he drove along the «Vladimirka» through Bilimbai again. In his diaries, published under the title «Journey to Siberia» and «Journey from Siberia», he mentions this village.
Crossing the Angara by Nikolai Dobrovolsky, 1886
In 1826, the Decembrists passed through Bilimbai to the Nerchinsk mines. Anton Chekhov, Dmitry Mendeleev, Fyodor Reshetnikov, and Vasily Nemirovich-Danchenko scolded the Moscow - Siberian Highway for its poor condition.

Nikolai Mikhailovich Yadrintsev wrote about the Siberian Highway in the 1880s: «The condition of roads in Western Siberia is extremely unsatisfactory. In some places, the road looks like ... arable land, cut with longitudinal furrows ... you have to jump up and beat the crown of your head against the top of the tarantass, then swing from side to side… The station has to travel about thirty miles in 7-8 hours».

By the end of the 19th century, the tract no longer met the needs of the country's economy. As a replacement, on October 13, 1878, a railway connection was opened from Perm to Yekaterinburg along the Ural Mining and Plant Railway, through Chusovskaya, Kushva, Nizhny Tagil and Nevyansk. In November 1909, the Perm– Kungur–Yekaterinburg railway line came into operation. With the opening of the Transsib, the Moscow - Siberian Highway lost its significance altogether.

Today, only some sections of the former highway remain. That is why it is so important to preserve its history as one of the most important historical sites not only in the Urals, but also in Russia. The village of Bilimbai is just such a place where local historians do not forget about this important transport artery of the past centuries.

The Siberian Highway had a great influence on the development of the cities through which it passed, and on the development of Siberia as a whole.