THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TSARSKOSELSKAYA RAILROAD IN THE HISTORY
OF RUSSIAN RAIROADS
Welcome to my native city Pushkin, the best city in the world, icredibly cosy, green, having a glorious history. I’d like to suggest to you a short excursion devoted to the railway connected St-Petrsburg with Tsarskoe Selo more than 2 centures ago.
From the history of the railroad
The construction of the road was trusted to an Austrian engineer Frants Gerstner. In his opinion the width of a track 1435 milimetres accepted in Europe was too small for creation correct designs of a steam locomotive and cars. Therefore the Tsarskoselskaya Road was decided to construct with the width of a track 1829 mm. Originally the railroad had been laid from St-Petersburg up to Tsarskoe Selo, and then prolonged up to Pavlovsk. Inauguration of the railway took place in October , 30th 1837.
A machinist of the first train, consisted of a steam locomotive “Quick’ and 8 cars was Gerstner himself. Tsar Nicolai 1 had been invited to the inauguration of the railway. It took only 35 minutes to overcome the distance from Tsarskoe Selo to St-Petersburg. Average speed of the train was 60 km per hour and it went 3 times quickly then a horse. Next day all newspapers of Russian cities announced this remarkable event with delight. Frants Gerstner became the national hero of Russia.
Petersburgers revere the memory of this person. On October 30th, 2007 in honour of 170th anniversary of the Russian railroads inside the building of Vitebsk station the monument to GERSTNER, an Austrian engineer was opened. The author of this sculpture Sherbacov represented him standing in full growth with a model of a steam locomotive in his hand.
The movement on a site of a road St-Petersburg—Pavlovsk was opened on May, 22nd 1838. The beautiful building of the station with the restaurant, a billiard hall and a concert hall was constructed there. A conductor Yogan Strauss, one of the most fashionable musician of that time performed there. He earned a huge fortune there ( about 22 000 rubles).
How did contemporaries estimate a highway? Estimations were different. Most contemporaries considered a highway to be an imperial entertainment or an attraction. But there was also another point of view that a highway had a great importance for the further development of railways in Russia. Since 1841 the scientific developments and tests of steam locomotives and cars of several foreing firms were done there to choose the best one for manufacture of domestic steam locomotives and cars.
We can say that our Tsarskoselskaya Road was the mother of all Russian railway roads . I”d like to pay your attention to one interesting fact from the history of railroads , connected with the different width of a track in Russia and Europe. On the border of Russia and Europe there is a bridge through the river Vistula where wheels of rissian trains were changed at crossing through the border. A small station Chop was located there. Exactly there a famous proverb- Don”t say Гоп while you will not move Chop.- was born at that time.
Our small excursion has come to an end. The last point of it is Tsarskoselskii Railway station which was built in 1837 under the project of an architector Fokkati in English gothic style. Since that time the building of the station was reconstructed many times. The modern building was created under the project of Levinson and Grushke.
I hope that in the nearest future a museum devoted to the history of our railway , railway station will be constructed in my city. Pushkiners and numerous visitors should know and be proud not only of our famous parks and pa laces but also by our glorious railway road – the first railroad in Russia .