The former Warsaw Train Station

(Varshavsky Vokzal [Варшавский вокзал] - Sankt Peterburg)

The former Warsaw Railway station c1858


The Warsaw railway station (Varshavsky Vokzal) in St. Petersburg has ended its existence as an ordinary railway terminus. On 5th August, 2001, a museum was opened here. The Museum of Railway Machinery named after V. V. Chubarov, na Varshavskom vokzale. Chubarov was head of the October railway and the first curator of this museum.

Now on the railway lines within the old station platform complex, more than 80 restored items have found refuge, including different classes of steam engines, diesel locomotives and even railway artillery mounts. In a city of museums, there are not many situated in the open air like this one. Each visitor has the opportunity not only "to touch the exhibits", but also to be photographed on the step of any loco or carriage he likes. The authenticity of the atmosphere is occasionally supported by recordings of railway sounds in the background.



In August of 2001 exhibits for this new museum were taken from Shooshary (Shushary) museum and from the base of Central railroads museum (CMZht). In fact, the whole museum of October railway was moved to Varshavsky Vokzal from Shooshary, where the open-air museum of the Oktiabrskaya railroad had its exhibition in the southern outskirts of the city.


  Five engines on the platforms at the old Warsaw Station.This museum of old-time railroad engineering opened on the former Warsaw railway station on the day of the 150th anniversary of the Nikolaevskaya (presently Oktyabrskaya or October) railroad. The exposition presents about 85 locomotives plus various wagons. In addition one can see old-time snow-ploughs, trolleys, signal posts, repair cranes, hydraulic pumps and other railroad engineering facilities, located on the rails near the station. All the exhibits have historical value. The total number of pieces in the museum's collection exceeds 170, with the exhibits having been gathered from all over Russia and CIS. From 1991 the Museum was located at the Shushary station (not far from St. Petersburg), and by the 150th anniversary of the Moscow - St. Petersburg line opening it has just moved to the Warsaw railway station in the northern capital. The museum was an instant success and the venue is likely to attract special events connected with railways. August 2006 has seen an Exhibition of New Railroad Engineering with many ultra-modern trains and rolling-stock on view in place of several resident exhibits. A few of the historical loco exhibits are in the photoset below, with some by local enthusiast Andrey Malcev and others by the author, Neil Harvey.  

St. Petersburg train museum a window to history
by Irina Titova, the Staff Reporter at the St. Petersburg Times
March 22 2002

The scores of steam engines, diesel and electric locomotives on display in St. Petersburg's converted Warsaw Railway Station provide an unusual window into Russia's history.
Here are the S-68 steam engine, the type of locomotive that transported the first Soviet government from St. Petersburg to Moscow in 1918; the first diesel locomotive in the world, designed in 1924 on the order of Soviet Founder Vladimir Lenin; and the very last passenger steam engine built in the Soviet Union in 1956.
The occasional train whistle and slightly bitter smell of diesel fuel wafting in from the neighboring Baltic Railway Station help bring Russia's largest museum train collection alive.
''I feel as if I'd suddenly found myself in 1903 and come to see off someone in this wagon,'' says Valya Smirnova, 14, standing in front of a pre-revolution green car with small wood-framed windows and half-drawn curtains.
''I feel as if in a second I might see some graceful lady in a small, veiled black hat who could have been sitting behind the glass a century ago.'' The Museum of Russian Railroads is a particularly apt prism through which to view the history of Russia, a huge expanse that even today takes eight days to cross by rail. Like the United States, much of Russia was made accessible only when the country's rail system was built in the 19th century.

The first Russian train started from the then-capital St. Petersburg on October 30 1837. The first national railway was 30 km long, connecting St. Petersburg with the suburb of Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's Village). The first Russian main line connected the country's two leading cities, St. Petersburg and Moscow, in 1851. It took 18 months to build the 647km route between the two cities, one of the straightest railways in the world. The first train to try the new line set off from St. Petersburg and took almost 22 hours en route to Moscow. Nowadays, it takes less than four hours for the Sokol (Hawk) speed train to cover the same distance.

The oldest of the approximately 85 engines on display at the museum dates back to 1897: a 46.2-ton steam engine that could go 32kph. With huge red wheels and a black, round body, it worked into the 1980s in the Chechen provincial capital Grozny. Another cargo steam engine, the FD, carries the initials of Felix Dzerzhinsky, one of the Soviet leaders, who became head of the first post-revolution secret police and of the railways. Between 1932 and 1941, the country built 3,211 similar units, each displaying a red star in front.
"Head To Communism!" calls the slogan painted across the front of a diesel locomotive built in 1948 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Soviet youth organization, the Komsomol or Young Communists' League.
The museum includes foreign-made trains as well. A brown cargo car was built in New Glasgow, Canada, back in 1915. Over the next six years, Canada and the United States built 20,000 similar wagons for the country. Later on, the design of these cars strongly influenced national projects of carriage-building. Another car on display was built in 1942 in Germany. Soviet Army troops brought it home as a trophy during the World War II.
The collection includes armored locomotives and artillery units that were used in World War II. There are also various railway appliances, such as a snow remover that could clear snow up to 90cm deep and 4.5m wide, a handy tool in much of Russia's frigid expanse.
The most recent items date to the 1960s, including electric locomotives that pull elektrichki, the trains that city dwellers pack to travel to their dachas, or country houses, in the summer.
The Museum of Russian Railroads is open from 11am-5pm in October-April and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. In (the northern) summer, it is open from 10am-6pm.
Tickets: for adults - 40 rbl., child - 20 rbl., foreigners - 100-150 rbl.

AP - This story was found at:



Warsaw Train Station (Varshavsky Vokzal) was built in the neo-Renaissance style between 1858 and 1859 by Peter (Piotr) Salmanovich 1833-1898. This architect and engineer was active in the railroad sector of Western and NW Russia and also designed important buildings in Vilnius and Pskov.

The main station building here at Varshavsky will also serve as a new center of Contemporary Culture, which is being set up by the St. Petersburg Arts Project Inc. This is a joint venture between various Russian government agencies and American sponsors. New York will also have an exhibition center linked to this project and both locations will be trying to promote a mutual understanding through art and culture, as well as explaining some of the misconceptions shared during the 'cold war'. Plans for the facility have included shops, restaurants, sporting and artist's studios. Externally the former station ensemble has been cosmetically refurbished whilst the interior of the main building has been completely gutted to accommodate the new venture. Since September 2005 this venue is known as the Varshavsky Ekspress shopping and entertainment complex. Almost one year on the author found this to be a sterile and characterless place to visit. Maybe in time, the new owners will stretch their budget to include some railroad memorabilia and introduce a few large pictures onto the bare walls to remind patrons of the last 150 years of history. While the museum to the rear attracts people from all walks of life, the leather jacketed visitors to the main building complex all appear to arrive in BMWs or Mercedes vehicles and have the funds to use the facilities.

The replacement for this station on St. Petersburg's rail network is Ladozhsky Vokzal (Ladoga Train Station) which, with over 3,000 sq. meters of space, is likely to be Europe's largest railway station. The city's other three main terminals will be Moscovsky, Vitebsky and Baltyskaya.

Address: Naberezhnaya Obvodnovo Kanala 118
Metro: Baltiyskaya, 400 yards walk to the station
Tel: +7 812 457-2137

NB: I have not been to Spb for several years and recently discovered that the Oktyabrskaya Railway Museum closed in June 2016 and is due to re-open at the nearby Baltyskaya railway station during 2017.
It was from St. Petersburg in the direction of Tsarskoye Selo that the first passenger train in Russian history set off. It happened exactly 180 years ago - October 30, 1837. The Museum of Russian Railways will open on November 1 in a new territory near the Baltic Station. For this purpose, the former locomotive depot was specially reconstructed and a new building was built.

Link to the new location (in Russian)
Link (in English) showing images of the new museum's construction

Some of the exhibits at the Varshavsky (Oktyabrskaya) Railway Museum; several by Andrey Malcev


TE3-1001, a 2 x 2000 hp diesel freight loco built by the Kolomna Works in 1956. Employed on the North Caucasus Railway and received at the Shushary railway museum from the Krasnodar depot in 1996.

  A 2-10-2 FD Steam loco

2-10-2 Steam locomotive FD; named after Felix Dzherzhinsky. These were the USSR's most powerful freight locos of which over 3000 were made 1932-41. FD 20-1103 seen here was built by the works at Vorosilovgrad.

The protype M62-1

M62-1, a prototype 2000 hp Electric freight loco. Built by the Lugansk Locomotive Works in 1964 and spent much of its life painted blue and working in the South Eastern, Central Asian and October railways.

  Another 2-10-2 FD Steam loco

Another FD view,

of 20-1477

Electric loco VL60K-065

Electric cargo loco VL60k-065 was built by the Novocherkassk Electric-locomotive Building works in 1960. Its territory spread over the Krasnoiarsk, East Siberian, Northern and Gorki railways before being presented to the Shushary museum in 1997.

  TEI-20-135 TEI-20-135 Diesel Freight or Passenger loco of USA design. Approx. 300 of this class were built in Khar'kov 1947-50
One of the first mainline 'electrics' in Russia

Number 14 of the freight/cargo electric Ss class. Built in 1933 for the Suram Pass section of the Trans-Caucasus Railway in Georgia. These were the first type of mainline electric locomotives in the Soviet Union.

  P36 Class number 0251

A semi-streamlined 4-8-4 number P36-0251. This is from the last class of steam locomotives known as "Pobeda" (Victory)" to be built in the USSR, in 1956.

Diesel power unit Ge-001, the first Soviet Diesel loco Diesel power unit Ge-001 (aka Ge-1 and ShChel-1), the first Soviet diesel locomotive   a 2-6-2 Russian Prairie  #S-68

A Russian Prairie 2-6-2 S-68,

S-68 was withdrawn from service in 1960 and is the sole survivor of this class. It was initially restored as S-245 by the ORK depot in Moscow.

Electric shunter VL41-060

Electric Shunting locomotive VL41-060. This is one of a class of 78 which were built at the Dnepropetrovsk in the Ukraine 1963-64. It came to the museum from the North Caucasus Railway.


A powerful looking 2-10-0 number L-2298 with a cameo of Mssrs. Stalin and Lenin on the smokebox door.

TE32-414 Diesel cargo loco

Diesel Freight locomotive TE2-414, built by Khar'kov Diesel-locomotive Works in 1954. It worked on the West Kazakhstan and October Railways whilst in service, arriving with the museum in 1990.

  a freight/cargo loco of the SO class

Oil fired, freight steam loco SO17-2413, was built by the Krasnoiarsk Steam-locomotive Works in 1948. It was used on the Perm and October railways and was given to the museum in 1992 by the loco depot at Malaya Vishera.

The Frenck Fk07

Fk-07, one of 50 similar class F electric built for the USSR by French companies in 1959. They were modified in the 1970s and reclassified as 'Fk's after having their mercury-arc rectifiers replace with a silicon type. This loco worked the Krasnoiarsk until 1987.

  a Finnish 'Trophy' freight loco of the K3 class

Freight Steam locomotive Tk3 1105, was built by Locomo in Tampere (Finland) in 1943 for the Finnish Railroad and used there. These 'Trophy' locos were also used by the October Railway during the 1940s and 50s. This engine came from the Finnish Haapamáki museum.

A DMU power unit which used to be familiar on the October Railroad.

D1 719-3, a powered driving coach of a Diesel Multiple Unit. Built in 1984 for the Soviet Railways by the Ganz-Mavag Works in Hungary.

  A real old 'tank' engine which was used on the North Caucasus Railway for shunting.

This 0-6-0 pannier tank steam locomotive is one of the oldest surviving locos in Russia. Built in 1897 by the Kolomna Works for the Vladikavkaz railway, it was used for shunting up to the mid 1980s at Groznyi.

A green and gray industrial diesel loco

Industrial Diesel Locomotive TGM3-021. Built by the Liudinovo Diesel-locomotive-building Works in 1960. It came to the museum from the Tsarskoe Selo factory for repairing track machinery.

  This baldwin 2-10-0 tranferred to the museum from Viazemskaya.

Ye-A-2201, was built by 'Baldwin' in 1944 under the Lend-Lease scheme. Initially it was based around Moscow, then from 1955 it worked on the Soviet Far Eastern Railway.

An American built diesel loco

Diesel locomotive Da20-09: Built in 1944 by ALCO (American Locomotive Company) in the USA. This loco entered service in 1945 on the Ashkhabad Railway and was later transferred to the North Caucasus Railway, which supplied it to the Shushary museum from service in 1996.

  A freight steam loco of 1934

Freight steam locomotive Em730-31, built by the 'Red Sormovo' Works in 1934. When withdrawn from service it came from the October Railway's Rzhev depot. Over 13,000 engines of the original class E were built.

TEP70-0007 was last used at the Gory station as part of a track maintenance unit.

TEP70-0007: is a relatively modern exhibit, a diesel passenger locomotive, built by the Kolomna Works in 1977. It worked from the Orsha depot of the Belorussian Railway for most of its service life.

  A "Sergo Ordzhonikidze" steam loco

17-1137 is a freight steam locomotive of the "SO" series ("Sergo Ordzhonikidze"), which were made at the Bryansk factory from 1936 onwards. Ordzhonikidze was a Bolshevik criminal and contemporary of Stalin.

A Skoda!

ChS2-023: An electric passenger loco built by the Skoda Works in Czechoslovakia for the Soviet railways. It came to the museum from the Barabinsk depot of the West Siberian Railway.

  A large 2-10-0 steam loco number TE-6769

TE-6769 is a powerful 2-10-0 steam loco of 1943, which was mainly used for hauling long cargo trains. (German class 52) 2.500 locomotives of this type were commandeered and brought to the USSR after World War II.

An express diesel loco of 1957

Diesel Passenger Loco TE7-013: This design was based on the T3 diesel freight class, and was intended for express passenger trains. Around 100 were built at the Kharkov plant from 1957 and they were mainly used on the Moscow to Leningrad or Kiev services.

  One of the few remaining class 'o' locos

Ov-6640 was built by the Putilov works in 1902. Class 'O' was the main type of freight locomotive in Pre-Revolutionary Russia and about 8000 were built. During WWII this loco was used on armored trains and came to the museum from Kaliningrad.

Upright image of TEP10-163

TEP10-163, a Co-Co Diesel Passenger Locomotive built in 1965 at the Khar'kov Transport Machine-building Works. A 3000 hp loco, capable of 140 kph, it worked on the Privolzhskaya and Gorky Railways before coming to the museum.

A vintage telegraph post

Telegraph post: Made in 1870 and used for load-bearing of telegraph, telephone and signal lines for 120 years! It was removed from the area around St. Petersburg's Moscovsky station in 1991.

A fragile looking electric freight loco, which was only capable of 90 kph.

A freight electric locomotive VL22m-1729. Built by the Novocherkassk Electric Loco-building works in 1957. It worked on the Kuibyshev Railway and was withdrawn from service in 1996 when at the Ruzaevka depot.

  A fireless steam loco number 9305

9305: arguably the most unusual engine on display here, is this Industrial Fireless Steam Locomotive. Weighing 36 tonnes when empty, this curiosity was built in 1928 by 'Schwartzkkopf' in Germany. It worked at the Tuapsinsky oil refinery until preservation in 1993.

A local loco

TEP60-0190: A 160 kph diesel passenger loco. Built by the Kolomna works in 1967. Spent its working life locally on the October Railway.

  A big gun, used in the Soviet-Finnish War 1939-40

Railway Artillery Gun TM-3-12: Calibre of 305 mm, Max Range of 30 km, Firing 2 shots per minute. One of three such guns, built by the Nikolaev Works in 1938 utilizing guns from the withdrawn battleship 'Empress Maria'.

A high-speed Skoda.

ChS200-002 electric passenger loco built for high-speed trains on Moscow-St. Petersburg line. DC 3kV. Max.speed 200 km/h. Weight 156 tonnes. Manufactured in 1979 by Skoda Works, Pilsen in Czechoslovakia.

  A war-time freight loco.

Er750-04: Freight steam locomotive built in 1943. This is one of 22 class Er750 steamers constructed at Kolomna works during 1943/44 with boilers originally intended for Su passenger locos, which had not been completed in 1941 due to the outbreak of the war.

Rocket train

Rocket Train!

Military Railway Missile complex 15P961 "Molodets" with intercontinental ballistic missile 15Zh61. Each missile carried 10 nuclear warheads. Range = 10100km

  LV18-002 freight loco.

Freight Steam Loco LV18-002 Built by the Voroshilovgrad Steam-loco Works in 1953and named after the October Revolution. It worked the Moscow-Riazon and Northern railways until 1982.

An 'Ermak' for the future

2ES5K-011 is a double-headed ''Ermak'' electric power unit with a central booster section, photographed at Varshavsky during the first week of August 2006 at an Exhibition of New Engineering.

  An electric blue diesel of the future.

2TE25K-0001 is an electric-blue "Peresvet" diesel locomotive built mid 2005 at the Bryansk Works. Is it too soon to say this could be part of the future history at the museum?

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