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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90

Servia,   p. 1424 PDF (373.9 KB)

Page 1424

                                No. 968.
                       Mr. Fearn to Mr. Bayard.
 No. 6.]                   LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
              Belgrade, November 21, 1887. (Received December 12.)
   SIR: I deem it important to call the attention of the Department to
 the recent completion of the Servian railway system as regards comr-
 munication with Constantinople and Salonica. The distance by rail
 between Belgrade and Constantinople is 1,296 kilometers, or 742 English
 miles, and the road is now complete, except about 50 kilometers in Bul-
 garia between Zaribrod. at the Servian frontier, and Sophia, the Bul-
 garian capital. This gap, including some heavy work at Dragoman
 Pass, in the Balkan Mountains, is being rapidly filled by the Bulga-
 rians, and trains will be running regularly over the whole line early
 next spring; probably in March. Belgrade will then be on the great
 International and Orient Express route from Parig to Constantinople,
 between which terminal points the time will be reduced to about seventy
   The railway hence to Salonica, a distance of 692 kilometers, or 432
 miles, has been practically finished for several months, but the opening
 of the line to the public has been and still is delayed by a variety of
 causes, chiefly, it seems, the opposition of the'Turkish and Bulgarian
 authorities. Mr. Ristics informs me that the decree for opening the
 line, about one-half of which runs through Turkish territory, only
 awaits the Sultan's signature. The Austro-Hungarian Government,
 deeply interested in this new route placing Vienna within thirty and
 Buda-Pesth within twenty-four hours of the 2Egean sea, is exerting
 strong pressure in favor of its immediate opening. This can not in any
 event be postponed after the completion of the main line to Constan-
 tinople, with which that to Salonica is identical as far as Nisch, 240
 kilometers, or 150 miles, from here. It then diverges south, and crossing
 the Macedonian frontier at Vranya, near the historic field of Kossovo,
 passes through the considerable town of Uskiib, where it joins the rail-
 way now being extended to a junction with the Austro-Hungarian
 system in Bosnia, and, running down the valley of the Vardar, finally
 reaches its terminus at Salonica. This fine harbor, within twenty-four
 hours steaming of the Pirmus and three days of the Suez Canal, will
 no doubt become a formidable rival to Brindisi, and probably be the
point of transshipment for the Asiatic, Egyptian, an(l Indian mails,
until railway connection is completed with the Piroeus itself.
      I have, etc.,
                                                WALKEI FEARN,

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