- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
415

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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FROM THE BURÉYA TO TRANSBAIKALIA

415
his work and still has much to discuss with Tregubov,
the chief engineer of the third section, which wc shall
soon have left behind us. Wc must therefore stay here
for the morning. Meanwhile, the rest of us took a walk to
a spring a mile or more from the station, from which
water is to be brought. The question of water-supply
is, of course, very important to a railway ; water must
be provided at regular intervals, not only for drinking
purposes, but above all for the engines. But here,
where the ground is perpetually frozen, it is not so easy
to find it. Borings had been made in several places
without tinding any ; and then they came upon this
spring in the forest, which was a great find. In winter
a regular iceberg freezes over a spring like this ; but
here they had built a timber house over the place, which
is warmed to keep the water from freezing, and it is
collected in a tank. The temperature of the spring is
about +1° C. (33*8° F.) summer and winter, and it
yields 66,000 gallons of water in the twenty-four hours.
From this place in the forest pipes are now to be laid
to the station and protected against frost by turf and
earth, in spite of the surrounding soil being perpetually
frozen. If the water is continually in motion, the
engineer thinks it will not have time to be cooled down
sufficiently to freeze, even if it is not warmed. But it
seems to me that this must be rather risky. From what
depth this water comes is still a riddle to me. The
engineer says it comes from some place about three
miles away. It seems that it must come from higher
places in the neighbourhood, and must be summer
water, which with the warmth it has absorbed collects
down in the ground, where it is not cooled down so far
as freezing-point in the course of the winter ; but this
is curious, as most of the rivers and marshes about here
are frozen solid. Three borings have been made round

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