The history of railways, XIX century
30 October 1837 - Tsarskoye Selo Railway opens officially
Construction was finally completed in October 1837. At 12:30 on 30 October, the station bell struck twice, the Provorny steam locomotive blasted its whistle, and the first train departed along the Saint Petersburg - Tsarskoye Selo public railway line.
Attitudes to the Tsarskoye Selo Railway varied at different periods. Many considered it to be more of an amusement attraction than anything else, and accordingly christened it with the disparaging name of "The Entertainer". However, experts understood the importance of the line for the development of the country's railway construction. Subsequently, at a ceremonial meeting of the Imperial Russian Technical Society dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the construction of railways in Russia, it was noted that:
"With regard to its general importance for the Russian railway network and the purpose which was envisaged when permission for its construction was given, the Tsarskoye Selo Railway will rightly be considered analogously to the memorable and Toy Army and boat of Peter the Great, who gave Russia the glorious and victorious Guard, Army and Fleet. "
Franz von Gerstner himself repeatedly acted as train driver and transported thousands of people. He later wrote that he travelled "... the distance of 5 versts (about 3.3 miles) 116 times in the first five days."