Kursky Station, Moscow
Kursky Station is peripatetic. Initially, it was built in Greater Nikolsky Lane, which is now called Puteiski Typik. No photos of the first station building have survived, but according to the documents, it was a small wooden structure. The site for it was personally chosen by the then Minister of Railways, P. P. Melnikov, who devoted much attention to the problems of the Kursk railway.
Kursky was the only one of Moscow's railway stations which was located outside the city limits - the so-called Kamer-Kollezhsky Val or Wall. From the middle of the eighteenth century, this wall was recognised as the official city limit separating Moscow from the county. The station's site was not chosen accidentally. First, the cost of the land was lower, secondly, the district county council levied less tax on land and enterprises than the city, and thirdly, it also imposed fewer and less onerous compulsory regulations on factory owners and entrepreneurs with regard to sanitation and occupational health and safety.
The position of the Nizhny Novgorod station was unstable from the very beginning - it was called "temporary" in the documents for many years. Its founders tried to obtain a site closer to the city centre from the authorities, so they never spent a lot of money on the construction. However, when regular services began, the need arose as early as 1865 to expand this modest station and build two additional buildings.
The railway line to Serpukhov opened in November 1866 and was then extended to Tula, Orel and Kursk. Correspondence about the fate of this station continued for nearly 30 years as different options were considered for the most convenient location.
In particular, there was an option along the Sadovoya, the Garden, at Gorokhovaya Street, but then it was suggested that Nikolayevskaya station could be merged with Nizhny Novgorod station and a branch line laid from the Nikolaevskaya railway line, via the Yaroslavl line to Kyskovo station and then directly to Nizhny Novgorod. The Russian Railways Main Company, the private owner, was unable to find sufficient funds, however, so the State Council proposed to the Russian Ministry of Communications that the needs of Nizhny Novgorod be postponed "until the right time."
The problem with the Nizhny Novgorod station was nevertheless finally solved when the tsarist government bought it and a number of other railways. It was then decided to merge the former Nizhny Novgorod station with Kursk, a new station which was already under construction on the Sadovoe Koltso (Garden Ring).
On 1 January 1894, the Moscow-Kursk, Nizhny Novgorod and Myrom Railway was established and assumed responsibility for all these directions.
In 1896, the new building at Kursk-Nizhny Novgorod station was ready. This elegant structure with white columns was built by the architect N. I. Orlov on the site of the current station square.
The newspapers of the day carried a statement that Nizhny Novgorod station at Pokrovskaya Zastava would be closed on 14 June 1896 for the arrival and departure of passengers and that from that time all Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod trains would depart from the new station. For the convenience of passengers living near the Moscow-Kursk goods station in the Rogozhskaya district, a platform was built at which all "passenger trains, except express services, will stop." For its part, the City Government paved the streets and alleys leading to the newly rebuilt platform.
The functions of the former Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod station at Pokrovskaya Zasava necessarily changed, and from then on, only cargo and troop trains departed from the station. Transportation increased particularly during the First World War from 1914 to 1917. Hundreds of wagons used to arrive at the Red Cross central warehouse not far from the station, the warehouses belonging to the Association of the Moscow Metallurgical Plant and the factories owned by Nobel, Podobedov and others.
After "relocating" Nizhny Novgorod station to the new Kursk station, the previous building was not demolished. Instead, it remained in service for a long time and was used for different station needs. Now, on the site of the former station and the track and building depots are located residential neighbourhoods, and no reminders of the life of the old Moscow station remain.
Kursky Station was renovated in 1938 following an international and then an open all-Union competition held in March 1932. The jury included G. M. Ludwig, G. B. Barkhin, M. Y. Ginzburg, L. V. Rudnev and others. Many young architects submitted their plans and projects.
In 1972, a new station building was erected under the chief architect Voloshin, while preserving the old premises with its colonnade and rich interior stucco.
The old Kursky Station became a small internal part of the new station, thus retaining the architectural decor in one of the main halls. The building's stained glass windows look on to the station square. It is covered with an original roof that can unfold to form a 9-metre canopy.
Kursky station can simultaneously accommodate 11,000 people. In the centre are escalators that carry passengers to the underground hall with its left luggage room, which is connected with the vestibules of the adjacent subway stations Kursk and Chkalov.
Kursky Station is the biggest in Moscow. Electric trains leaving Kursk railway station connect Moscow with Shcherbinka, Podolsk, Klimovsk, Chekhov, Serpukhov, Yasnogorsk, Tula, Reutov, Balashikha, Zheleznodorozhny, Elektrougli, Elektrostal, Noginsk, Pavlovsky Posad, Electrogorsk, Drezna, Orekhovo-Zyeva, Pokrov, Petyshki, Kostereva, Lakinsk, Sobinka and Vladimir.