Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Alexander Palace => Tsarskoe Selo Town => Topic started by: Kalafrana on January 14, 2010, 03:46:47 AM

Title: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on January 14, 2010, 03:46:47 AM
This topic doesn't fit terribly well with the various headings, so apologies if it's in the wrong place.

In the novel I am writing, set around the murder of Rasputin, I have an episode in which two characters travel by train from Tsarskoye-Selo to Petrograd, from which one is going back to the Stavka and so needs to get a train to Mogilev.

When I visited Russia in 2008, I got a train to Tsarskoye-Selo from the Vitebsk Station. Would this have been the case in 1916? And did trains to Mogilev also run from the Vitebsk Station or somewhere else?

Some nerd is bound to pick me up if I get it wrong! After all. I am that kind of nerd myself.

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Mike on January 17, 2010, 01:19:44 AM
A good question! All trains from SPb [Petrograd] to Mogilev passed via Tsarskoye Selo and departed from the same station - Tsarskosyel'sky Vokzal [since then renamed Vitebsky]. However, the fast train Petrograd - Kiev that departed on 10:30 PM, had comfortable coaches and was usually used for trips to Stavka, didn't stop at Tsarskoye. Its first stop after leaving Petrograd was Vyritsa. Therefore it was feasible to travel from Tsarskoye backwards to Petrograd by a commuter train, then to board the Kiev-bound train at the same Tsarskosyel'sky station.

By the way, today the situation is exactly the same: in order to get by rail from Pushkin to Mogilev, Kiev, Odessa etc. in a decent way, one has first to go to Petersburg's Vitebsky station by an elektrichka.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on January 17, 2010, 05:01:23 AM
Mike

Many thanks for this. This is exactly what I need. One character is going to the Stavka, the other back to Petrograd only, so they can get the commuter train into Petrograd and have a cup of coffee at the station before making their farewells.

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on February 22, 2010, 10:38:21 AM
Another one.

My main character will soon be going from Petrograd to the Stavka by that fast train departing at 1030pm. How long did the journey take?

Regards

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Mike on February 25, 2010, 09:53:42 AM
This train arrived in Mogilev at 5:03 PM next day, stopped there for 15 minutes and continued to Kiev and Odessa. Therefore the travel time from Petrograd to Stavka was 18.5 hours. Today it's more or less the same.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on February 25, 2010, 11:03:20 AM
Excellent. So they arrive at Mogilev in nice time to dress for dinner.

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Mike on February 25, 2010, 01:08:20 PM
You probably know that all kinds of dress uniforms and evening attire were banned at Stavka. The military personnel, including the royals, wore field uniforms, the civilians - quasi-military or business suits.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on February 25, 2010, 02:05:57 PM
Mike

Thanks for that - a bath and a clean shirt then.

What sort of accommodation was provided - my visitors are two captains?

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: rosieposie on February 25, 2010, 04:17:49 PM
Hey Ann,  your story sounds intriguing :)    I'm not familar with trains and railstations but perhaps they slept in a berth.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Mike on February 26, 2010, 02:06:44 AM
There were a dozen hotels in Mogilev, all fully booked for the Stavka needs, together with many rented apartments and private homes. Visiting officers and other officials had to apply to the Stavka quartermaster's office that operated around the clock and allotted accomodations according to the visitor's rank. Two captains might be offered to share a room at a rented apartment, or a vacant room in the barracks of one of several army units stationed in Mogilev, or a compartment in one of the several trains permanently parked at the railway station.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on February 26, 2010, 03:19:56 AM
Great!
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on February 26, 2010, 11:05:12 AM
A shared room in a vacant apartment will do nicely. Our visitors' respective batmen are resourceful fellows and will provide breakfast.

What about meals? I have the impression that the Tsar would eat meals with a small group of intimates and others would be invited to dine with him from time to time, but was there a large mess for the rest or would they make their own arrangements?

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Douglas on February 26, 2010, 06:21:01 PM

Here is a photo of the Tsar, his staff officers, male family relations and Alexei at Stavka.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v475/Douglas606/zzzzzzzzzzzzzalexieatstavka.jpg)






A shared room in a vacant apartment will do nicely. Our visitors' respective batmen are resourceful fellows and will provide breakfast.

What about meals? I have the impression that the Tsar would eat meals with a small group of intimates and others would be invited to dine with him from time to time, but was there a large mess for the rest or would they make their own arrangements?

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Mike on February 27, 2010, 01:39:13 AM
The Stavka's Officers' Assembly was set up at Bristol Hotel, and its large reataurant was used for breakfasts (at noon) and dinners (at 6 PM). There were no enough seats, so the meals were served in two and sometimes three shifts.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on February 27, 2010, 03:37:58 AM
Many thanks once again.

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: rgt9w on July 30, 2014, 07:35:36 PM
Can anyone tell me where the Imperial Waiting Room was located at Vitebsk Railway station?  Is it within the main building or the small building to the right of the main station? It is my understanding that the Imperial Family had their own separate building to wait in.  Can you visit it?
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: geglov3 on August 01, 2014, 09:32:12 AM
(http://geglov2.narod.ru/_ph/63/2/769064573.jpg?1406903372)
Всё там же и стоит рядом с Витебским вокзалом.
All the same, and stands next to the Vitebsk Station.

Подробнее фото ...
More photos ...
http://geglov2.narod.ru/photo/020_gorod_voennykh_do_1917_g/010_1_j_zheleznodorozhnyj_polk_batalon/63
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: rgt9w on August 01, 2014, 04:45:39 PM
Geglov3, Thank you very much for sharing the photograph of the Imperial Pavilion.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: John Walker on August 06, 2014, 05:03:40 PM
Looking forward to your book Kalafrana!  I am probably telling what you already know but just in case.........  The main line ran from Vitebsky Vokzal to Pavlovsk and further.  That occupies the present line which you mention.  There was also a main line to Gatchina and further.  There was a loop joining these two lines, from Aleksandrovsk on the Gatchina line to somewhere north of the present Platform 21 on the Pavlovsk line.  The Royal Station, the remains of which still stand, near Alexander Palace was on this loop.  I don't know whether the Royal Station was only used for official traffic or whether there was a regular service for visiting dignitaries, palace workers etc.  Nor do I know where your two gentlemen are coming from but if there was such a service and they were coming from the palace they would not have walked two kilometres down to the main line..... or at least I wouldn't! 
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: geglov3 on August 07, 2014, 01:35:53 PM
(http://geglov2.narod.ru/_ph/64/799650583.jpg?1407436412)
Подробнее вот (Read more here)
http://geglov2.narod.ru/photo/050_raznoe_carskoe_selo/karty_i_plany_carskogo_sela/64

Имеется ввиду павильон Урицкого и ветка Павловск I.
There is a view pavilion Urickogo and branch Pavlovsk I.  

Есть платформа Скачки ...
Race is a platform ...
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Inok Nikolai on August 07, 2014, 03:49:15 PM
If you arenít already aware of it, that first station at the end of the line in Pavlovsk was a pleasure pavilion patterned after the pleasure park in Vauxhall, London.

Concerts and musical performances were held there, and people came from St. Petersburg for the day and evening.

It is also the source of the Russian word for a large railway station.

********

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauxhall_Gardens


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlovsk,_Saint_Petersburg

In the 19th century, Pavlovsk became a favorite summer retreat for well-to-do inhabitants of the Russian capital. The life of Pavlovsk's dachniki was described by Dostoyevsky, who frequently visited the town, in his novel The Idiot. To facilitate transportation, the first railway in Russia, the Tsarskoe Selo Railways, was built around 1836. The first test runs were performed between Pavlovsk and Tsarskoye Selo using carriages horse-drawn over the rails. Regular trains powered by steam locomotives began operating between Pavlovsk and St. Petersburg from May 1838. Aiming to promote the railways, the train terminal of Pavlovsk was built in 1836Ė1838 as an entertaining center. It then regularly hosted evening festivities, and Johann Strauss II (1856), Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Feodor Chaliapin were among the celebrities who performed there. The station was called 'Vauxhall Pavilion', and its fame eventually caused the modified from Vauxhall word "Vokzal" to enter the Russian language, with the meaning "substantial railway station building".
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Inok Nikolai on August 07, 2014, 04:09:27 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitebsky_railway_station


And here are some shots of the restored Vitebsk / Tsarskoe Selo Station in St. Petersburg, including the Tsarís Pavilion:

Exterior:
http://www.enlight.ru/camera/266/index_e.html

Interior:
http://www.enlight.ru/camera/267/index_e.html

More general shots:
http://tinyurl.com/orj32bk
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Inok Nikolai on August 07, 2014, 04:13:08 PM
And here is the newly erected memorial to the Russian soldiers of WW I who left from that station:
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog?entry_id=1455778
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: John Walker on August 08, 2014, 09:36:52 AM
The map supplied by geglov3 is interesting but is irrelevant to Kalafrana's question because her book relates to 1916 and this is obviously a much later Soviet map.  In my previous post I mentioned the loop line from Alexandrovskaya to a point north of Platform 21 on the Vitebsk/Pavlovsk line.  The beginning of this loop line is shown on the map going from Alexandrovskaya to Поб Урицк.  It is still there, leading into a factory.  On the map it stops there - dead end! - but the original line branched north, crossed two bridges and arrived at the boundary of Alexander Park where the Royal station was situated (the ruined building still exists). The line continued from there to join the main line as I say north of Platform 21 on the main line.  Traffic from the Palace would have used this line when going into Peter and travelled the other way through Alexandrovskaya if going to Gatchina or further.  The line is no longer there being I presume superfluous to requirements once the Palace ceased to be a royal residence.  I found info when I did research a couple of years ago at http://fedor-ragin.livejournal.com/2514html.  The lengthy text is in Russian but the photos are excellent and speak for themselves.
I hope Kalafrana understands that there were two stations in Tsarskoe Selo and she has to know from which her passengers are travelling.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on August 10, 2014, 01:47:49 PM
Many thanks for all these interesting details. My two characters are coming from the barracks of HM Life Guard Hussars, which is much nearer to the Alexander Palace than to the present station.

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: geglov3 on August 16, 2014, 05:41:47 AM
Это вопрос или утверждение ?
This is a question or a statement?
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 28, 2016, 05:47:29 PM
Ann

I already posted this but I am putting it here as well:

www.aroundspb.ru/maps has a map of St Petersburg/Petrograd/Leningrad dated 2.26 (February 1926?) and the surrounding area including Tsarkoe Selo . It is a topographical map  and I don't think the area changed that much since 1916-17

There is also a 1943 railroad atlas at www.soldat.ru.filers

I hope this is of some use.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on January 29, 2016, 12:34:41 AM
James

Definitely useful.

I will have a look.

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 04, 2016, 05:16:29 PM
At looking at some of the replies I have some comments:

Coffee was getting in short supply in Russia in 1916. If it involves Sandro who was a Prince even he would be complaining about its high cost and being hard to get. You might want to have them drinking tea.

Train travel was longer in 1916 do to the demands of WW I which clogged the tracks. Add to this the Russian rail service was breaking down by this time in part do to overuse and lack of maintenance. you could have Sandro and others complaining about how bad things are getting.

Stavka as a reply pointed out would have the Quartermaster ready to handle incoming officers. Sandro  and all others would have to show there travel orders and identification ect.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on February 05, 2016, 07:04:59 AM
James

Once again, many thanks. I can certainly fit in the coffee shortage and train delays. Fortunately, the Life Guard Hussars have a very efficient Officers' Mess Warrant Officer, who has managed to get hold of coffee, but perhaps the mess bills have had to go up!

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 13, 2016, 03:26:52 PM
Ann

Glad to be of help. On second thoughts coffee may not have been that scarce for someone like Sandro it just cost more. In Germany and Austria it was really getting rare at this time. They had to drink a acorn substitute. However, in late 1916 inflation and food shortages were really hurting the average Russian badly. In Petrograd things were especially bad.

I would also like to point out for the Guards there was the Economic Society for Officers of the Guards Corps or Guards economic society for short. It was a department store on Bolshaia Kowniushennia and Voluinsk Periulok in Petrograd/St Petersberg.  It helped the Guards get things they needed that the Quartermaster couldn't provide. The store was open to civilians and in the field officers from other units could come buy things they needed.

Rail travel according to Alfred Knox Warsaw to Petrograd on a express mail train 17 hours in peacetime 42 hours in march 1915. These sort of rail delays hurt communications because it delayed the mail which was the main way you communicated back then.

I will read your book one day. I hope Sandro and Kate make it out alright their world is about to fall apart.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Kalafrana on February 15, 2016, 08:11:31 AM
I love the idea of a special department store for Guards officers!

In the British forces we had the NAAFI (Naval, Army and Air Force Institutes), which initially ran troops' canteens and then branched out into supermarkets - essentially, the British equivalent of the PX. However, that has now gone. The canteens were 'other rank' and the supermarkets all ranks.

Since both Sandor and Colonel Muraviev are suffering from hangovers after the mess dinner, they will be in need of coffee, but I can fit in a few comments about the high price and declining quality, and that one of the few signs of the war at the Stavka is the awful coffee.

Ann
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 20, 2016, 08:15:52 PM
I am glad to be of help Ann but change 101:

In the book "Nicholas And Alexandra" the IF at Tobolsk in March 1918 do to budget cuts was forced to give up butter and coffee so I guess it wasn't as scarce as I thought. It should also be pointed out that some officers in the Russian army during WW I often sent part of their rations back to their families who were having problems making ends meet. so I think Sandro and the Colonel would be complaining about the high cost of things, however they could still get the real thing while the Germans and Austrians couldn't.
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Joanna on June 29, 2016, 09:25:47 AM
Fascinating exterior and interior photos of Vitebsk, Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk rail stations in 1904 - many I have never seen before:

Vitebsk:
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/vita_life777/48889071/234528/234528_900.jpg

Tsarskoe Selo:
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/vita_life777/48889071/237169/237169_900.jpg
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/vita_life777/48889071/237416/237416_900.jpg

Pavlovsk:
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/vita_life777/48889071/237973/237973_900.jpg

All photos:
http://vita-life777.livejournal.com/9653.html

Joanna
Title: Re: Railway Stations
Post by: Cathy on July 03, 2016, 12:55:56 PM
Here is a beautiful video of Vitebsk Railway Station today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqQ6h3oQeAg&noredirect=1

Cathy