The state central railway from Santiago to Puerto Montt crosses the province and has two branches within its borders, one from Rengo to Peumo, and one from San Fernando via Palmilla to Pichilemu on the coast.
The state central railway from Santiago to Puerto Montt crosses the province from north to south, and the Cautin, or Imperial, and Tolten rivers (the latter forming its southern boundary) cross from east to west, both affording excellent transportation facilities.
To Puerto Montt crosses the western part of the province and also connects it with the port of Concepcion.
At the north end of the first is the Reloncavi, a large and nearly landlocked bay, on which stands Puerto Montt, the southern terminus of the Chilean central railway.
Lake Todos los Santos is situated well within the Andean foothills north-east of Puerto Montt and at an elevation of 509 ft., considerably above that of the other lakes, Lake Ranco being 230 ft.
A large species of barnacle, Balanus psittacus, is found in great abundance from Concepcion to Puerto Montt, and is not only eaten by the natives, by whom it is called Pico, but is also esteemed a great delicacy in the markets of Valparaiso and Santiago.
Inaugurated under General Prieto's administration (1831-1841) by his able minister Diego Portales, this policy was continued by his successors General Manuel Bulnes (1841-1851) and Manuel Montt (1851-1861), each of whom like Prieto was elected to a double term of office.
To Montt, as minister under Bulnes and afterwards as president, must be given the main credit for the far-seeing policy which laid the foundations of the prosperity of Chile; and though the administration was in many ways harsh and narrow, firm government, rather than liberty that would have tended to anarchy, was essential for the success of the young republic.
Under the rule of President Montt he had been an active member of the opposition and involved in various revolutionary conspiracies; for his participation in these plots he was at one time exiled from the country, but returned and received official employment under President Perez.
As protest against the action of President P P g Balmaceda, the vice-president of the senate, Senor Waldo Silva, and the president of the chamber of deputies, Senor Ramon Barros Luco, issued a proclamation appointing Captain Jorje Montt in command of the squadron, and stating that the navy could not recognize the authority of Balmaceda so long as he did not administer public affairs in accordance with the constitutional law of Chile.
Immediately on the outbreak of the revolution President Balmaceda published a decree declaring Montt and his companions to be traitors, and without delay organized an army of some 40,000 men for the suppression of the insurrectionary movement.
In the middle of August 1891 the rebel forces were embarked at Iquique (where a provisional government under Captain Jorje Montt had been set up), numbering in all about 9000 men, and sailed for the south.
Admiral Jorje Montt had been the head of this revolutionary committee, and he acted as president of the provisional government when the administration of the country changed hands after the victory of the Congressional party.
Admiral Montt, as head of the executive power, stanchly refused to allow official influence to be brought to bear in any way in the presidential campaign.
The great majority of the voters, however, required no pressure to decide who was in their opinion the man most fitted to administer the affairs of the republic. For the first time in the history of Chile a perfectly free election was held, and Admiral Montt was duly chosen by a nearly unanimous vote to be chief magistrate for the constitutional term of five years.
Admiral Montt took the view that it was politic and just to let bygones be bygones, and he acted conscientiously by this principle in all administrative measures in connexion with the supporters of the late President Balmaceda.
President Montt next turned his attention towards the question of how best to repair the damage occasioned to the country by eight months of civil warfare.
President Montt then took in hand the question of a reform of the currency, the abolition of inconvertible paper money, and the re-establishment of a gold basis as the monetary standard of the republic. This reform of the currency became the keynote of the president's policy during the remainder of his term of office.
Great opposition was raised by the representatives of the debtor class in congress to the suppression of the inconvertible paper money, but in the end President Montt carried the day, and on the 11th of February 1895 a measure finally became law establishing a gold currency as the only legal tender in Chile.
President Montt had now fulfilled his term of office, and on the 18th of September 1896 he handed over the presidential power to his successor, Senor Federico Errazuriz, who had been duly elected in the month of June previously.
At the opening of 1901 the country was chiefly interested in the forthcoming presidential election, for which the candidates were Don Pedro Montt (Conservative and Clerical) currency once more on an inconvertible paper money P P Y basis until 1902.
In 1906 Senor Pedro Montt was elected president and entered upon his office on the 17th of September.
The completion of the Trans-Andean railway between Valparaiso and Buenos Aires was bound to be of immense commercial and industrial value; and eventually the making of a longitudinal railway route uniting the nitrate province of the north with Santiago, and Santiago with Puerto Montt in the distant south, opened up further important prospects.