Kanash was founded in 1891. Between 1891 and 1925 it was called Shikhrany ( _ru. Шихраны). Population: 50,593 (2002 Census); 54,585 (1989 Census. Area: km2 to mi2|18.5Fact|date=February 2007. Kanash is located at a major
The town's history is closely linked to the development of the railway. The
Moscow– Kazanline was completed, except the Imperatorsky Romanovskyrailway bridge across Volga, in December of 1884 by private Moscow Ryazan Railway Companywhich was renamed to Moscow Kazan Railway Companyon July 11, 1891, which provided all train service in the area up to 1918, when all the remaining private railways were nationalised by the Bolsheviks. It run from Moscow Kazan Railway station through Kolomna, Ryazan, Shilovo, Sasovo, Kustarevka, Arapovo, Ruzayevka, Saransk, and Alatyr. The station of Shikhrany was opened at the site of present-day Kanash, 225 versts (240 km) from Timiryazevo, which was later renamed to Romodanovo, a railway junction in present day Republic of Mordovia. By the time (1913-1914) there were only seven railway stations, Alatyr (119 versts from Timiryazevo), Kirya(155 versts from Timiryazevo), Buynok platform, Ibresi(189 versts from Timiryazevo), Shikhrany (225 versts from Timiryazevo), Urmary(262 versts from Timiryazevo), and Tyurlema(282 versts from Timiryazevo), inside the area which was later to become Chuvashia.
The opening of the station, which was then surrounded by woodland, provided a convenient production point for the timber industry, and windmills were built in the area. In 1911, there were more than forty trading firms in Shikhrany. In 1912, a primary school was opened, and in 1914—a middle school. In 1919, Shikhrany station became a railway junction, when the
Arzamas–Shikhrany line (245 versts), which had been under construction from 1914, when the last section was completed from River Tsarkli bridge to Shihrany, and opened to full traffic. (The line had been in restricted use with limited car loads since summer 1917.)
By 1925, when Kanash was granted town status, its population was 2,323.
A second station was built in 1926 for goods transit. The first power station, which supplied electricity to the railway station, portions of the town, and thirteen nearby villages, was constructed in 1929.
Construction of the Kanash–Cheboksary line began in 1939, bringing the number of lines connecting Kanash up to four.
World War II, railway production facilities and transit capacity were substantially increased.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, local industry was diversified. Factories producing furniture, tools, polymers, and plastics, and car repair factories were built.
* [http://gov.cap.ru/main.asp?govid=61 Official website of Kanash] ru icon
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