Russian railways

1 November 1851 - St. Petersburg - Moscow Railway opens

On 1 November 1851, the longest double-track railway line opens and the first train departs from St. Petersburg to Moscow at 11:15, taking 21 hours 45 minutes to arrive in Moscow at 9 am the next day.

The St. Petersburg newspaper "Severnaya Pchyola" ("The Northern Bee") wrote:

"Today, on Thursday, 1 November, the first national train left for Moscow on the new railway line. In the morning, a large number of the public gathered in front of the station and filled its vast hall. In one part, passengers registered, in another tickets were on sale and in a third, passengers' luggage was accepted, recorded, weighed and immediately placed in a special carriage under a glass canopy for protection against rain and snow. After obtaining their tickets, the passengers entered the spacious waiting rooms. A special ladies' room is more elegant than the other waiting rooms."

The first Russian main line, which nowadays is part of October Railways, began operations, with trains pulled by locomotives built at the Alexander factory in St. Petersburg.

Traffic grew rapidly. As early as 1852, the line transported 719,000 passengers and 164,000 tons of cargo, with the fast train covering the 650 km between St. Petersburg and Moscow in 12 hours.