Leningradsky Station, Moscow
Leningradsky Station is the oldest railway station in Moscow.
In February 1842, Tsar Nicholas I signed a decree on the construction of the St. Petersburg - Moscow railway. The design of the passenger buildings in both capitals was entrusted to the outstanding architect Konstantin Andreevich Ton, who had already designed Catherine's Church in St. Petersburg, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Bolshoi Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
It was decided to build the station in St. Petersburg on Znamenskaya Square on Nevsky Prospect. In Moscow, a site for St. Petersburg station was not found immediately. At first, two options were under consideration, one at Tverskaya Zastava and one on Trubnaya Square. However, both of these ideas were rejected since steam locomotives made an "infernal noise" and the fear that sparks from the boiler rooms of the train engines could cause fires. The site finally chosen was a vacant plot in Kalanchevskaya field.
The stations in both capitals were built according to a single design: a classical two-storey facade with "evenly spaced articulation in the spaces between the windows achieved by attached columns with the arched windows known from the Kremlin Palace and the Armoury Room with little drop ornaments on the ground floor and doubled windows on the second." A two-storey tower with a clock and a flagpole round off the central part of the building.
Petersburg Railway Station in Moscow was built in 1849 and has a length of 25 Russian fathoms and a width of 12 Russian fathoms. A Russian fathom is equal to 2.13 metres.
The first floor has a spacious double-height lobby, passenger halls and imperial rooms, while the second contains service apartments for the stations masters and experts. The station's interior finishing was superb, with oak parquet floors, marble-lined Swedish stoves and fireplaces in the toilets. Particularly grand were the Imperial Apartments. General Kraft, who was in charge of the building's construction, ordered massive oak doors to be fitted, while Count Kleinmichel installed wardrobes with mirrored glass.
On the track side of the station building was an arrival platform with a length of 50 Russian fathoms and a width of 12.5 Russian fathoms, as well as two pathways and passenger platforms paved in stone. The original cable-stay system for the arrival platform was designed by the architect R. A. Zhelyazevich and proved very successful. It served until 1903, when it was replaced by arches.
The first working train arrived in Moscow from St. Petersburg on 3 August 1851. Just two weeks later, on 19 August, the Emperor Nicholas I himself and his wife tested the line, along with the heir to the throne, several Grand Dukes, four German princes and courtiers.
Regular services on the first Russian railway began on 1 November 1851.
In 1855, after the accession to the throne of Emperor Alexander II, the St. Petersburg-Moscow Railway was renamed the Nikolayevskaya, and the railway station in Moscow was correspondingly called the Nikolaev.
By order Felix Dzerzhinsky, the People's Commissar, in February 1923, the Nikolayevskaya railway was renamed October, and Nikolaev Station became October. A year later, in connection with the renaming of the northern capital, the station became Leningradsky. The name of the station has not changed again to this day, although trains now departing leave for St. Petersburg.
In 1934, Leningradsky Station was rebuilt: the ticket offices were enlarged and an information desk, post office, telegraph office, savings bank and a room for transit passengers installed. A mother and baby room was set up in the former royal chambers. In 1948-1950, the station's interior spaces were updated and the interiors refurbished.
In the second half of the 1970s, Leningradsky Station was renovated. The station's previous form is preserved only in that part of the building where the facade looks out over Komsomolskaya Square. On the left, a three-storey wing was completed which housed a hotel, a hall for transit passengers, a medical room and other services. In August 1975, upper and lower ticket offices were opened. A spacious main hall was built at the arrival platform. For the convenience of passengers, the station was connected to the metro stations by underground passages.