The International Steam Pages

175 Years of Russian Railways at Shcherbinka Depot and Test Track, 2012

Harvey Smith was based in and around Moscow off and on from 1997 to 2014 and has now moved to St. Petersburg. Apart from this report he has also posted information on other attractions in Moscow and the rest of Russia, there are links at the bottom of the page.

Harvey Smith was at Shcherbinka in August 2012 and was told to 'come back in September' when there would be a special event. This is what he found:

On 7th, 8th and ,9th September 2012 Russian Railways celebrated 175 years with a parade of locomotives at Shcherbinka test track. I had heard of smaller events occurring each year on the first Sunday in August.

I attended the event on 9th September 2012. I met Alex Malianov and 2 of his mates at Shcherbinka station. I met Alex through this website. He was an excellent guide who manfully held his umbrella over me while I attempted to take some photographs. It was a pity it rained hard on 9 September. I think it was an Englishman bringing the curse of English weather. Everything was well organized. There was even a free bus service from the railway station to the gate of the test track. The entire event was free for all to watch! The return ticket from Moscow cost 30 roubles. Just over 50 pence in English money. We were allowed to stand where we wanted. So I cannot complain. It was unbelievable value for money.

For me the highlight was seeing OV-324, SR250-64 and P36-0031 under steam. I am accustomed to see class Es and class Ls puffing their way around Moscow. OV-324 is possibly the oldest working locomotive in Russia, having been built in 1905. Not so many Soviet passenger locomotives survived, so seeing a working Su under steam was a treat (there may be a few others, certainly in St. Petersburg and Ukraine). I have wanted to see a P36 under steam for some time. Seeing the steam and smoke of the locomotives in the distance on the far side of the test track was also quite entertaining.

The cutaway class ER-791-81 was also provided to demonstrate how a steam locomotive works.

The plinth that I saw being made ready on 5 August 2012 is now occupied by L-3348. This locomotive has come from Roslavl reserve. It has been beautifully restored and we were allowed to get inside the cab. All gauges and controls are present.

There were also a display photographs and a painting of Russian Railways through the years. These ranged from a painting of their first railway of 1837 (which ran from St.Petersburg to Tsarskoe Selo), through the mid-nineteen century, 1930s, the Second World War, right up to the Russian Railway’s latest developments of the Allegro and the Sapsan High Speed Trains. 

We all had a great day out. Thank you to Russian Railways!!

These are some of Harvey's pictures from the trip:

Star of the show was this grand old lady, OV-324:

A very atmospheric shot of SU250- 64

L-3348 has now been plinthed and also here was cutaway loco ER-791-81 formerly in the Gatchina reserve on October Railway, at least it wasn't anything rare...:

Finally, here are Alex and Harvey enjoying the footplate experience on L-3348:

Dmitry Kolesnikov was here earlier on 7th and 8th September when the weather was kinder and he has also sent some pictures:

LV-0182 leads a parade of 'modern traction'



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Strictly this doesn't belong here as it was taken at Podmoskovnaya Depot but it shows the old lady in all her glory being prepared for the Shcherbinka celebrations:


Rob Dickinson