Thu. Nov 25th, 2021
 
Russia's Still Running Vintage Steam Train

Russia’s Still Running Vintage Steam Train

The journey on the only regular steam metro train in Russia takes the passengers back to the soviet era. The Ruskeala Express is a traditional steam-powered locomotive that connected the shores of Lake Ladoga with the Ruskeala marble deposits.

It has recently been renovated in the style of classic 20th Century trains. The renovation aims to give travellers a nostalgic experience as they sweep through the woodlands of the northern Karelia republic. The German-made train wagons have been refitted with the early 20th Century inspired interiors, including old lampshades, curtains, and carpets. The curtains with tassels and carpeted passage give it the feel of a retro car. The Ruskeala Express interior is decorated like the carriage on which Auguste de Montferrand, the chief architect of the St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the visionary behind the railroad of the route, came to Ruskeala. The first train was launched on 1 June 2019.

Russia’s Still Running Vintage Steam Train

Russia's Still Running Vintage Steam Train
Russia’s Still Running Vintage Steam Train

History: In 1818, Auguste de  Montferrand, a young and ambitious French architect was appointed by the Russian Emperor Alexander I as the chief architect of the new St.

Isaac’s Cathedral.

While looking for building and facing material for the reconstruction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral for several years, Montferrand found part of the marble on the islands not far from Valaam Island, part of it abroad, and three species in the Ruskeala. The French architect came to Ruskeala in a poshly designed carriage twice in 1820 and 1821. Though Montferrand liked the marble in these places very much, there was a problem with its transportation. The marble from the islands was transported by ships along Ladoga and further along the Neva to the capital directly.  But transportation from Ruskeala remained a challenge. The valuable stone was transported in carts down the broken roads. After knowing all this, Auguste de Montferrand said, “cast-iron road should be built to Serdobol, and the train routes should be launched”. This idea became a reality after 200 years.

 

The train route is from the town of Sortavala to the Ruskeala Mountain Park. The journey is adorned with stunning Karelian scenery, snowy trees in winter and shining lakes in the summer.

Subhangee Guha

Break the Newz.

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