Railroad Tracks through Desert Plains
This photograph shows a ribbon of railroad stretching across a sandy plain covered with scrub in the semi-arid region between Bayramaly (present-day Turkmenistan) and Chardjuy. The Russian settlement Chardjuy (now Turkmenabat) was founded in 1886 near the site of an ancient town of the same name. Located on the Amu-Darya (Oxus) River, the town had become an important railroad junction by the time this photograph was taken. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire. Prokudin-Gorskii was particularly interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), which he visited on a number of occasions, including two trips in 1911. Turkestan appealed to him not only for its rich Islamic culture but also for the transformation brought by Russian settlement, particularly in agriculture. Economic development of Turkestan was closely related to the construction of railroads, such as the Trans-Caspian, begun in 1879 and expanded over the next three decades.
- acku Afghanistan
- Image Size
- 1800x1720 / 731.4KB
- Contained in galleries