Monument to the Creators of Russian Railways
The monument to the Creators of Russian Railways was solemnly opened in 2013. This monument was created by the sculptor S.A. Shcherbakov.
The monument is a rather high sculptural composition on a granite pedestal. In the center is a bust of Emperor Nicholas I, since it was under him that the construction of railways in Russia began. As now, and in those days, there were opponents of progress who considered the railways in the Russian Empire to be pampering, as they were used to the horse-drawn mode of transport and did not want to change anything.
Monument to the Creators of Russian Railways. Story
Emperor Nicholas I had an excellent engineering education. It was he who proposed to make the railway rails wider than in Europe. There were many reasons for this, but we will not dwell on it here. We only note that this decision has saved our country more than once. During the Great Patriotic War, the Germans could not quickly transfer their equipment, troops by rail, because. their wagons were not suitable for this.
On the monument, as you can see in the photo, there are five more figures. And these are engineers who have made a great contribution to the development of railways in Russia.
Franz Anton von Gertsner Austrian engineer.
Known as an outstanding pioneer of railways in Europe, he arrived in Russia at the invitation of the mining department. He was amazed by the size of our state and surprised by the lack of railways, so he set about trying to create and develop a network of railways in Russia. Having studied the situation, von Gertsner submitted a note to Emperor Nicholas I with the words “there is no such country in the world where railways would be beneficial and necessary; than in Russia, because they make it possible to shorten long distances by increasing the speed of movement.
Imperial approval was received and von Gertsner began building the first railway for passenger traffic. For this road, rails, wagons, tools, etc. were purchased in England. In 1837, the Tsarskoye Selo railway was solemnly opened and its operation began. von Gertsner began the construction of the Nikolaev road: St. Petersburg Moscow. But due to disagreements with officials, he quits construction and leaves for America and dies there.
Grateful citizens of St. Petersburg did not forget the merits of the talented engineer and, in honor of the 170th anniversary of the Russian Railway, erected a monument to von Gerstner at the Vitebsk railway station in St. Petersburg in 2003 (sculptor S.A. Shcherbakov).
Statue of engineer P.P. Melnikova
Next to von Gernstner is the figure of the outstanding Russian engineer P.P. Melnikov, who also took an active part in the construction of the Nikolaev railway. Along with engineering activities, P. Melnikov prepared and published the book “Railways” in 1835. For this work, he received an award from the emperor a diamond ring. P. P. Melnikov rose to the rank of Minister of Railways.
During his career, he:
- managed to organize the production of steam locomotives, wagons and rails at factories in Russia;
- established a railway school in Yelets;
- immortalized the work of the builders of the first railway
- he built a church in honor of the holy apostles Peter and Paul at the Lyuban station
- and, by the way, contributed half of his funds for its construction.
He also opened a school for the children of railway workers, an orphanage and an almshouse at his own expense. After his death, he bequeathed, all income from his property and savings should go to the maintenance of charitable institutions opened at his expense. What is fundamentally different from the modern leaders of Russian Railways.
On the square near the three stations P.P. Melnikov was given a personal monument by sculptor S.A. Shcherbakov. What an outstanding person! He did not live behind a high fence, he did not have villas on the Cote d’Azur, but he left his mark on history.