Author Topic: Imperial Train  (Read 136882 times)

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Offline londo954

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2004, 01:52:13 AM »
I think it would be interesting to see photos of the imperial train and Standart. It is my understanding from the research I did on the Potsdam conference for a paper I wrote in University that Stalin used a couple of cars from the old Imperial Train to travel to Potsdam since he was afraid to fly  

Heikki Hanninen

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2004, 05:24:07 PM »
Hi!

Railway Museum of Finland has three coaches of
Imperial Train.  By chance during revolution they
were here in Finland.  Train can been seen in City
of Hyvinkaa.  Museum is very proud of their "pearl"
of collection.  Museum´s www-page is www.rautatie.org
Here in Finland were have quite much items which used
to belong Imperial family, because Finland used to be
Autonomic part of Russia between 1809-1917.
I suppose that is why Anna Vyrubova choiced to stay
in Finland  -  close to St.Petersburg.

Offline Sarai

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2004, 02:50:45 PM »
Check out this link for more information about the Imperial Train (article and a few pictures, including of the interior):
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/royalty/russia/train.html

Offline Katharina

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Re: Imperial Train - accident near Borki
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2004, 07:58:36 AM »
Quote
Didn't Tsar Alexander's superhuman lifting of that train, lead to the kidney problem that caused his death?

From a medical point of view: How likely is it that Tsar Alexander III. really died of nephritis due to the train accident near Borki? Far from being a MD I was told the main causes for nephritis are bacterial infections or allergic reactions.

Did the tsar lift the roof or the ceiling of the train? With his hands or his back? Or is this just some sort of fairy-tale to point out his enormous strength and stamina?

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2004, 08:31:10 AM »
Alexander III did not, in fact, hold aloft the roof of the railway carriage-it's a myth.  See Coryne Hall's "Little Mother of Russia," Julia Kudrina's "Marie Feodorovna," and for Marie Feodorovna's own account, "Marie Feodorovna, Empress of Russia: An Exhibition about the Danish Princess who became Empress of Russia."

As to the cause of his death: there are a number of various reports available now that both confirm and contradict the official version.  I don't know enough to contradict the official verdict of nephritis, but there is also a fair amount of information now that he was suffering from liver failure due to alcohol poisoning and years of drinking.  I recall an interview with one of those who was present when they embalmed him, describing how the doctors were shocked at the damage brought about by his alcohol consumption, and I've recently seen some documents that support this.  His drinking had been a problem for a long time-he used to get drunk frequently, smash things, and bully Nicholas a lot-and when he did and the IF were in residence in St. Petersburg Marie Feodorovna would collect the children (at all hours of the night apparently) and flee in a carriage to the Tauride Palace, where she kept a suite of rooms-officially used when members of the family went ice skating on the pond there-but apparently maintained to provide a refuge.  This happened, according to the curator, quite a bit-they have records and diaries and the like about the various incidents-and Marie Feodorovna certainly took to telling servants in the palaces to hide alcohol and not serve it to her husband-and he circumvented this by having special flasks designed to fit into the tops of his boots.  So given this I wouldn't be terribly surprised if his cause of death really was something related to what I've seen described as "chronic alcoholism," but don't know more than this.

Greg King

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2004, 12:12:27 AM »
I am afraid I know nothing about alcoholism-or how this would affect a craving for sweets.  But certainly the more I learn and hear the more I am personally sympathetic to what Nicholas had to grow up with.  It's been popular to paint Alexander III and Marie Feodorovna as such loving, doting parents but I think they both crippled Nicholas to an incredible extent, Alexander through his bullying and inattention, and MF by her overwhelming possessiveness and coddling of him.  They have a lot to answer for about how and why things went wrong in the end.

Greg King


Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2004, 10:15:16 AM »
I agree with you Greg -- Maria Feodorovna was a bit selfish, to be sure, and domineering fathers like that rarely produce major leaders.

But back on the train thread, if anyone wants good pictures of the Imperial Train, there is an excellent book which was published by the Imperial Ministry of Communications; compiled under the direction of the Temporary Committee for the Construction of Imperial Trains by the engineer P. Malinevsky.  It is 220 pages, and contains 23 pages of illustrations, and 25 pages of technical drawings, and was published in 1900. I know that there is a copy at GARF in Moscow, and I think there may be one at the New York Public Library, but I'm not sure.  

A bibliographical reference to this text as well as an illustration of the grand Salon was published in the Broghton Show "Nicholas and Alexandra" frm 1998.

The train had ten cars, seven of which  provided living quarters for the Imperial Family: four private cars for the Emperor, Empress, and their guests, a dining car, a carriage for the Imperial Children, and a sleeping car for the Grand Duchesses.  Of the three remaining cars, one contained the full kitchen, and the last two were filled with luggage and quarters for the servants.

The train itself was built in Russia between 1896-1897, and was one of the most luxurious and technologically sophisticated trains ever produced for broad-gauge travel.
Nick Nicholson
New York City

Offline Louise

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2004, 12:44:18 PM »
Hi Greg. You made mention of Alexander III apparent alcoholism and the probable cause (or one of the causes) of his death. You also stated that Empress Marie had a suite of rooms ready for a safe refuge from her husbands alcoholic rages. I was wondering if you had more information to share on this aspect of the Imperial lives, and the atmosphere that their children grew up in. This fact could speak volumes of Nicholas's character during his reign.

I can understand the secrecy involving the royal family and why this would not be public knowledge at the time, but I'm interested to know why this information is not readily available today.

BTW, I truly enjoyed your book on Alexandra.

Louise
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2004, 01:36:05 PM »
Alexander III was just a big a drinker as  a lot of Russians, [being half Russian, I know !] and most probably acute alcoholic so I do not see it as any surprise that it was kept quiet, so to speak.  It was just a part of the  "family closet". [another topic altogether, I think].
A decent, recent objective bio of the man himself should certainly be in order, I think. Greg, Penny ??? There is a lot he influenced, not just his family, of course, but the developments in the Balkans in particular. I gather from what I have read, he was not very popular in European  Courts, would like more insight about him.

Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Louise

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2004, 02:11:31 PM »
Robert, I wholeheartedly agree with you. A positive, realistic biography of Alexander III is very much desired.

I'm not at all surprised regarding his drinking, but I am suprised that his wife had to flee to a safe refuge with the children.  

Again, a more complete and up to date biography would be welcomed.
The sign of a sick mind is studying for a final exam and thinking it's the

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2004, 03:23:04 AM »
Quote
Hi Greg. You made mention of Alexander III apparent alcoholism and the probable cause (or one of the causes) of his death. You also stated that Empress Marie had a suite of rooms ready for a safe refuge from her husbands alcoholic rages. I was wondering if you had more information to share on this aspect of the Imperial lives, and the atmosphere that their children grew up in. This fact could speak volumes of Nicholas's character during his reign.

I can understand the secrecy involving the royal family and why this would not be public knowledge at the time, but I'm interested to know why this information is not readily available today.

BTW, I truly enjoyed your book on Alexandra.

Louise


Hi Louise-

I am afraid I know little more than what I posted about this-my information comes from a friend who had it directly from the curator at the Tauride Palace.  But the curator is currently working on an article on this for "Atlantis" so I hope to learn more when we have it.

But certainly Nicholas had tough childhood-it wasn't all happy families as has been painted.  There are some important sources on his childhood and youth that have never been translated into English, among them the memoirs of Vladimir Ollengen, who spent a lot of time with him and took lessons with him.  He witnessed firsthand how Alexander III bullied Nicholas and made fun of him.  And Marie Feodorovna had a whole host of problems, from jealousy and possessiveness to deceit-the single best character study of Nicholas's formative years and influences is, to my mind, to be found in Richard Wortman's superb "Scenarios of Power," Volume II-I highly recommend this to anyone wanting a better insight into how Nicholas was raised and how he came to believe what he did, as well as how he ruled and why he did so.

Greg King

Offline JD

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2004, 12:35:07 AM »
A little tidbit I came across browsing just now, re: the Nicholas II-Orient Express connection:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0785813527/ref=sib_dp_pt/104-3992638-4572751#reader-page
Quote
In 1887 a set of salon, sleeping and restaurant cars was built by Wagons-Lits specifically for the use of the President of France. They were not grand enough for Czar Nicholas II, however, for whom seven coaches were convereted into wonders of extravagance.

I'm not entirely sure what that means - I hadn't seen any prior mention of Wagons-Lits being commissioned to build the carriages of the Imperial Train. But is that what is being conveyed here? Can anyone confirm this?

Offline JM

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2004, 09:00:06 AM »
      I recently saw a documentary called The Last of the Czars. In it they showed Shulgin in a train basically acting out what took place during Nicholas' abdication. I don't know when this took place. The carriage was decorated with ikons and pictures of the family. It was panelled in some sort of wood. Could this have been the real train?

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2004, 12:45:32 PM »
Hello Jmetanko,
Ihave that same documentary. The train is not the real one, as the film was done after the WWII, but was recreated. The film was not released because it was considered pro-monarchy...

Offline JM

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2004, 12:49:38 PM »
     Sure, Shulgin must have been very old. It's interesting that he appeared in a film that was condsidered "pro-monarchy".

    Thanks