When considering the nature of the task to be undertaken in providing Russia with a railway net, the geographical importance of the River Volga as a collecting agency for the products of practically the whole of European Russia must first of all be taken into account. The development of the Russian railway net prior to 1905 was an uneven process, due to the hesitation as to whether the system of State or private management of the lines was preferable. In the economic sphere many advantages were expected from the opening up of Siberia which the railway would render possible. The development of industry with its increasing calls for transport facilities, the need for bringing the extremities of the Empire within the railway net, the necessity of constructing strategic lines in view of Russia's growing significance in the sphere of European politics, all combined to necessitate increasing expenditure on railway construction.