Nikolsk to Harbin, China 600 Miles
This line was built after the Japanese-Russian War. The country from Nikolsk to Chin Chow settlement was very flat and was at one time a great wheat country. Chin Chow is the boarder town of Siberia and Manchuria, China.
The 17th we got into the Manchurian mountains and had some large grades to make with two engines in the back and some times we had two pulling us. You can not realize what would have happened if our train would have broken apart as the train did not have any air brakes at all.
The Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904 after years of conflict. Japan's ultimate victory in the war resulted in Japan becoming a power in Asia and led to the Russian Revolution of 1905 which was a precursor to the Russian Revolution a decade later that ultimately resulted in the formation of the Soviet Union. More basic info can be found here.
The photo comes from George's photo album and the caption identifies the area as The Chinese Wall, "Chin" Chow. The "Chinese Wall" is obviously the Great Wall of China. The identity of the man in the photo is a mystery to me.