Museum complex


Imperial Glass Factory
Glass "Golden ruby"; blowing, faceting, painting in gold and silver
Height – 9 cm
Receipt; from Gostorg Antiques, 1930
Showcase 7

October 30, 1837 the newspaper "Vedomosti" (The News) published a note:"It was on Saturday; the townspeople flocked to the old regimental Church of Presentation of our Lady by the Semenov parade ground. They knew that an unusual railway road is being opened and the "steel horse shall carry a lot of coaches" for the first time. However, not everyone was able to see the first train. The commoners were not allowed to the recently built station. At exactly 12 hours and 30 minutes the tiny locomotive gave a high-pitched whistle and eight cars full with Noble audience started off from Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo".
So was described the Grand opening of the first public railway in Russia, the only one in the country and the sixth in the world. It was built to provide railway service between Tsarskoye Selo station of St. Petersburg, Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk.

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The construction of the road was led by the Czech engineer, Professor of the Vienna Polytechnic Institute Franz von Gerstner. In the summer of 1835, he was able to convince the Emperor of the advantages of Railways that allowed to move troops fast.
The Decree of Emperor Nicholas I to the Senate on the approval of the "Regulations of the establishment of the shareholders' Society for construction of the railway from St.Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo with a continuation to Pavlovsk" was published on April 16, 1836.
May 1, 1836 began construction of the railway from Pavlovsk. In July, the platform under the canopy for visitors was ready and the foundation of the hotel building was laid. September 10 was laid the station building and the locomotive depot with a turning circle in Tsarskoye Selo. By September 30, the rails were laid at a distance of 22 miles from Pavlovsk. At the end of September, test rides (few horse-drawn cars) had been launched, from platform in Tsarskoye Selo to Pavlovsk.
On November 3, 1836 was the first run-in of the locomotive. It was delivered dismantled by sea from England to Kronshtadt, and from there through the Bay, the bypass channel and by horses to Tsarskoye Selo where it was assembled and checked up. The first train consisted of 8 cars and a three-axle locomotive built at the Stephenson plant in England. Cars were of four classes. The most comfortable were coaches, called "Berlin": those were cars with covered bodies and soft seats for eight people. The capacity of wagons the remaining classes amounted to 10 passengers. "Stagecoaches" were called soft covered cars of higher capacity. The following classes were represented by open wagons ("line cars"): cars with roofs were called "sharaban", without roof "wagons". The cars had no heating and lighting. Gerstner demanded that the locomotives had to have output of 40 horsepower and had to be able to carry several cars with three hundred passengers at a speed of 40 miles an hour. To increase the carrying capacity of the road, Gerstner decided to use a rolling stock with a gauge of 1829 mm instead of 1435 mm, which was adopted by the Railways in England.
Professor Franz von Gerstner was personally driving locomotive in the very first trip from St. Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo. The length of journey was 27 km; the trip took 35 minutes and the return trip was 27 minutes; thus, the maximum speed reached 64 km/h, and the average was 51 km/h. It was considered a fantastic achievement at the time.
In First six months of operation of the road trains were horse driven and only on Sundays or Holidays were turned to steam. Full transition to “seam” occurred in April 1838, and in May was launched train service from St.Petersburg to Pavlovsk.
In the first years, the fare for passengers of the first and second classes was 2.5 and 1.8 rubles, respectively, the third and fourth would pay 80 and 40 kopeks respectively. The cost of construction of the first railway in Russia was estimated at 5 million rubles. In 1838 the road was able to transport 700 thousand passengers and began to generate income, which allowed to recoup all costs of construction and operation of all rolling stock in five years.
In 1837, a railway station building (Vokzal) was built for Russia's first railway between St.Petersburg and Tsarskoye Selo. According to Gerstner's plan, the railway station in St.Petersburg had to be located on the embankment of Fontanka river, but the money allowed for the construction were only sufficient for construction of the railway track and the station building in Tsarskoye Selo. Then it was decided to build a temporary wooden station a little away from the site allocated for the station. Thus was built the oldest rail station in Russia — Vitebsk Station. In 1849 — 1852, the stone building, which existed until the beginning of the XX century, was built by architect Konstantin Ton. The modern building of the station was built in 1904 in the style of "modern" (architects S.Brzhozovsky, S.Minash).
As an independent railway, the Tsarskoye Selo railway existed until 1897, after that it was included in the Moscow - Vindavo - Rybinsk railway and was converted to the Russian track (1524 mm). Only six engines could have been converted to the Russian track. During independent operation of the Tsarskoye Selo railroad a total of 34 engines were delivered there.
In 1987, on one of the platforms of the Vitebsk railway station, in a special glass pavilion was installed a model of a train, which made in 1837 the first trip from St.Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo.