Author Topic: How common was it to have a train waggon of your own before the Revolution?  (Read 17444 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Amely

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 170
    • View Profile
Does anybody know what people had trainwaggons of their own and how many such private waggons were there in times of the Revolution in Russia? Could one say it was common to have a train waggon of their own?

Offline Clemence

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
    • View Profile
Quote
After the Tsar's death, Catherine received a pension of approximately 3.4 million rubles[22] and agreed to give up the right to live in the Winter Palace or any of the Imperial residences in Russia in return for a separate residence for herself and the three children.[22] She settled in Paris and on the Riviera, where she became known as a fashionable hostess and was used to having twenty servants and a private railway car,[23]

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

So it was not just a Russian habit.
'' It used to be all girls without clothes. Now it’s all clothes with no girls. Pity.''

Offline Forum Admin

  • Administrator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4665
  • www.alexanderpalace.org
    • View Profile
    • Alexander Palace Time Machine
Wealthy Americans had them as well.  Lilly Langtree had one.  I don't think the number will be known, but it certainly was not unheard of in Imperial Russia.  Probably about as many wealthy people had them then as would have a private large jet plane today.

Offline Rodney_G.

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
  • an angel .....and the best of them
    • View Profile
How exactly did the use of a trainwagon work? Assuming you owned one, it would have to be kept on a rail siding somewhere, and that somewhere would have to be near one's residence to be of any use. And from whence would one obtain  the usage of an engine to which to attach your personal wagon around Russia(and likely parts of Europe)? Did you have to conform to a fixed,pre-existing trainschedule? If not,  again,how would this work?

I would think  that as a practical matter taking advantage of a personal trainwagon would be a real headache, and not just for oneself,but for the railroad administrators who would be trying to accommodate you.
Rodney G.

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
How exactly did the use of a trainwagon work? Assuming you owned one, it would have to be kept on a rail siding somewhere, and that somewhere would have to be near one's residence to be of any use. And from whence would one obtain  the usage of an engine to which to attach your personal wagon around Russia(and likely parts of Europe)? Did you have to conform to a fixed,pre-existing trainschedule? If not,  again,how would this work?

I think they usually were attached to a normal passenger train. You just hitched yourself to a train going the same way.
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Rodney_G.

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
  • an angel .....and the best of them
    • View Profile
How exactly did the use of a trainwagon work? Assuming you owned one, it would have to be kept on a rail siding somewhere, and that somewhere would have to be near one's residence to be of any use. And from whence would one obtain  the usage of an engine to which to attach your personal wagon around Russia(and likely parts of Europe)? Did you have to conform to a fixed,pre-existing trainschedule? If not,  again,how would this work?

I think they usually were attached to a normal passenger train. You just hitched yourself to a train going the same way.

Well, yes, but there seem to be a lot of practical issues. When you pull into a train station in some city, your wagon will presumably be detached from the train engine which is moving on. Unless you're  content to watch your wagon pull out of the station without you aboard. The wagon has to go somewhere once you've arrived in a station. Shunted to some siding? A train wagon is not exactly an auto which can go anywhere there are roads. It's both rail- and directionally-dependent.

I guess the luxury of a personal train wagon would be appealing to some, especially pre-Revolution when long distance personal  automobile travel  wasn't really convenient or even possible. But  I'd still think deploying one would be a major pain in the ass, at least for the aide/manager charged with making the arrangements.
Rodney G.

Offline Mike

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
    • View Profile
    • Erast Fandorin Museum
Personal rail cars were quite common in prerevolutionary Russia, however most of them were owned by the railway administration and intended for the use of high officials. Every minister or deputy minister, province governor, army corps commander, senator, etc. was entitled to such a personal car. Therefore all the necessary logistics (attaching/disengagement to regular passenger trains, forming extra trains, shunting, parking, technical maintenance etc.) existed and operated quite well. Much less numerous privately-owned cars enjoyed the same services, for which their owners paid the railway administration according to the government tariffs.

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Very interesting, Mike! What a strange, wondrous land and era!
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)