Russian railways

1 May 1836 - construction of the Tsarskoye Selo Railway begins

The Tsarskoye Selo Railway Construction ProjectAccording the construction plan of the Tsarskoye Selo Railway, the line was to begin in St. Petersburg on the left bank of the Fontanka, 370 metres from the Obukhov Bridge. It was planned to build a large station building to be crowned with a clock tower. The single-track line from the first station was to pass along the bank of the Vvedensky Canal to the Obvodny Canal, behind which was the only curve on the route, and then run perfectly straight in a south-easterly direction to Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk.

A gauge of 6 feet (1829 mm) was chosen for the Tsarskoye Selo Railway. Franz von Gerstner justified this decision by the need to extend the width of the rolling stock in order to increase the capacity of the wagons and thus be able to transport bulky goods, including carriages. In the future, this gauge would also facilitate an increase in the power of steam locomotives, steam cylinders and driving mechanisms located inside the frame.

Von Gerstner was allowed to establish a joint stock company with a capital of 3 million roubles in order to construct the railway lines.

St. Petersburg - Tsarskoye Selo Railway lineThe construction of the Tsarskoye Selo Railway began on 1 May 1836 and was scheduled for completion by 1 October the same year. In just one month, 2,500 workers and 1,400 soldiers laid the 5-kilometre section of the railway. Nevertheless, it proved impossible to finish the work on time, so Franz von Gerstner decided to begin operations on the section between Kuzmin and Pavlovsk, which had already been completed.

3 November 1836 - a steam-powered train makes the first run on the Tsarskoye Selo Railway