Chelyabinsk was linked by a transverse line with the middle Urals railway, which connects Perm, the head of navigation in the Volga basin, with Tyumen, the head of navigation on the Ob and Irtysh, passing through Ekaterinburg and other mining centres of the middle Urals.
At the present day steamers ply from Tyumen, at the foot of the Urals, to Semipalatinsk on the border of the Kirghiz steppe and to Tomsk in the very heart of West Siberia.
Uninterrupted water communication could readily be established from Tyumen to Yakutsk, Aldansk, and the goldmines of the Vitim.
Tyumen (29,651) in West Siberia, head of Siberian navigation; Barnaul (29,850), capital of the Altai region; Krasnoyarsk (33337) and Tobolsk (21,401), both mere administrative centres; Biysk (17,206), centre of the Altai trade; Khabarovsk (15,082), administrative centre of the Amur region; Chita (11,480), the capital of Transbaikalia; Nikolsk (22,000); Irbit (20,064); Kolyvan (11,703), the centre of the trade of southern Tomsk; Yeniseisk (11,539), the centre of the gold-mining region of the same name; Kurgan (10, 579), a growing town in Tobolsk; and Minusinsk (10,255), in the southern part of .the Yeniseisk province, trading with north-west Mongolia.
Domestic and petty trades are therefore developed only round Tyumen, Tomsk and Irkutsk.
It starts from Perm on the Kama, and, crossing the Urals, reaches Ekaterinburg - the centre of mining industry - and Tyumen on the Tura, whence steamers ply via Tobolsk to Tomsk.
From Tyumen the road proceeds to Omsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk, sending off from Kolyvan a branch south to Barnaul in the Altai and to Turkestan.
In 1884 this line was continued as far as Tyumen, the head of navigation on the Siberian rivers.
Owing to its position at the terminus of steam navigation up the river Tobol, it has become second only to Tyumen as a commercial centre.