P E Robinson
August 15 2013 (12:16)
Hi Karen – firstly I should mention that Harbin lay on the original route of the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok. It was only in 1916 that the Amur Railway was completed, allowing trains to run to Vladivostok entirely on Russian territory. The route from Chita to Vladivostok via Harbin was a convenient “short cut” across Manchuria and this line, the Chinese Eastern Railway, was built, operated and policed by Russia by arrangement with the Chinese government. By 1901 trains were running via Harbin to Vladivostok, and by mid-1902 the southern branch of the C.E.R. from Harbin to Dalny/Port Arthur via Shenyang (i.e. Mukden) had been completed. I may be able to help further, and will email you accordingly.