Author Topic: Railway Stations  (Read 33440 times)

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Offline Kalafrana

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Railway Stations
« 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

Offline Mike

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #1 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #2 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

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #3 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

Offline Mike

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #4 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 11:03:20 AM »
Excellent. So they arrive at Mogilev in nice time to dress for dinner.

Ann

Offline Mike

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #6 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #7 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

Offline rosieposie

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #8 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.
Beautiful faithful Nargony.
Thanks Emily!

Miranda:" Everything begins and ends at exactly the right time and place."
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975) Movie.

Offline Mike

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #9 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 03:19:56 AM »
Great!

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #11 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

Offline Douglas

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #12 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.







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

Offline Mike

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #13 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.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Railway Stations
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2010, 03:37:58 AM »
Many thanks once again.

Ann