THE question of transportation is the central and the most important single economic problem in Russia. Its importance has been equally great under all three of the political régimes through which Russia has passed in recent years. But its paramount importance to-day is enhanced by the fact that the whole transportation system of Russia has suffered great disorganization through the war, the republican period of the Revolution, and particularly, through the Communist period. During the past three years, the transportation situation, particularly as far as the railroad system is concerned, has been rapidly growing worse, approaching truly catastrophic conditions.
Even before the war, the Russian railroad situation was a matter of concern for the forward looking economic elements of the country. The trouble lay both in the inadequate development of the system and in the insufficiently rapid pace in the attempts to overcome this inadequacy.
Russia was behind practically every civilized country as far as her railroad development was concerned.