Saint Petersburg–Warsaw railway

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Saint Petersburg–Warsaw Railway ((Russian: Санкт-Петербурго-Варшавская железная дорога) (transliteration: Sankt-Peterburgo–Varshavskaya zheleznaya doroga)) is a 1,333 km (828 mi) long railway, built in the 19th century by the Russian Empire to connect Russia with Central Europe. At the time the entire railway was within Russia, as Warsaw was under a Russian partition of Poland. Due to territorial changes, the line now lies within five countries and crosses the eastern border of the European Union three times. Therefore, no passenger trains follow the entire route. Passenger trains between Saint Petersburg and Warsaw today travel through Brest instead and a new line called Rail Baltica is under development to improve the direct connection between Poland and Lithuania.

Warsaw–St. Petersburg Railway
Warsaw dworzec kolei petersburgskiej 19w.jpg
Warsaw Wileńska Station (1862–1915)
Technical
Track gauge(WarsawHrodna) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
(HrodnaSaint Petersburg) 1,520 mm (4 ft 11+2732 in)
Route map

km
0.062
1,046
Warszawa Wileńska
000.000
000.000
I. Kosmowskiej
Radzymińska
2.718
Warszawa Wileńska Marki
 503  to
Warszawa Wschodnia
Goods Yards
gen. Rozwadowskiego
Bródnowski Canal
Bukowiecka
3.953
Warszawa Zacisze-Wilno
DW 634
Łodygowa
6.746
Ząbki
DW 625
Wojska Polskiego
Kolejowa
DW 631
Piłsudskiego
Ave.
Ząbki Rozjazd Junction
Kolejowa
9.942
14.472
Zielonka
000.000
000.000
17.438
Kobyłka Ossów
19.339
Kobyłka
21.410
Wołomin
23.053
Wołomin Słoneczna
DW 635
Niepodległości Ave.
25.082
Zagościniec
27.750
Dobczyn
31.044
Klembów
to Pilawa  13  to Krusze
34.838
Jasienica Mazowiecka
Cienka River
 513  to Jasienica Mazowiecka Junction
 10  to Legionowo
DW 634
Norwida
37.912
Tłuszcz
000.000
000.000
41.020
Chrzęsne
42.084
Mokra Wieś
DW 636
Główna
47.587
Szewnica
Fiszor River
53.001
Urle
55.235
Barchów
DK 62
Wyszkowska
58.479
Łochów
63.689
Ostrówek Węgrowski
68.680
Topór
72.978
Sadowne Węgrowskie
Kaca Canal
81.762
Prostyń
 514  to Treblinka
 34  to Siedlce
87.969
Małkinia Górna
000.000
99.260
Kietlanka
102.964
Szulborze Koty
105.700
DK 63
Nurska
DW 690
Szkolna
111.838
Czyżew
118.077
Kity
120.800
Dąbrowa Łazy
DK 66
Mazowiecka
127.379
Szepietowo
000.000
000.000
132.363
Szymbory
135.825
Jabłoń Kościelna
140.474
Racibory
146.107
Zdrody Nowe
150.575
Łapy Osse
DW 681
Brańska
154.035
Łapy
177.305
882
Białystok
000.000
156.265
Uhowo
DW 682
Kościelna
160.117
Bojary
163.251
Baciuty
167.107
Trypucie
168.996
Niewodnica Kościelna
172.222
Klepacze
Horodnianka River
172.500
Turczyn Junction
173.570
Białystok Wiadukt
DW 669
Trasa Niepodległości
Gen. Fieldorfa Nila
 32  to Czeremcha
176.300
Białystok Towarowy Junction
177.305
882.000
Białystok
DW 676
Solidarności
Avenue
 37  to Zubki
Sopoćki
000.000
000.000
DK 8
E 67
Gen. Maczka
DK 8
E 67
1000-lecia
Państwa Ave.
185.155
Wasilków
Czarna River
191.278
Czarny Blok
195.280
Wólka Ratowiecka
199.178
Czarna Białostocka
203.118
Machnacz
Jałówka
207.525
Rozedranka
212.882
Gieniusze
 57  to Kuźnica
DK 19
Białostocka
Road
Sokółka River
218.527
Sokółka
000.000
000.000
 40  to Suwałki
DW 674
Kryńska
225.580
Kundzin
227.100
Łosośna
228.100
Łosośna passing loop
228.320
Krex Czuprynowo passing loop
230.146
Czuprynowo
234.349
Kuźnica Białostocka
000.000
000.000
Bruzhi (Брузгі)
Klački (Клачкі)
Bakuny (Бакуны)
Niamiejščyna (Нямейшчына)
Karobčycy (Каробчыцы)
Hibuličy (Гібулічы)
Pryharadny (Прыгарадны)
to Masty (Масты)
Suvorov Street
Victory Street
Levanaberazhnaya Street
Grodna (Гродна)
000.000
000.000
Kochanowski Street
to Masty (Масты)
Kaplica (Капліца)
Bahušoŭka (Багушоўка)
Rybnica (Рыбніца)
Pierasielcy (Перасельцы)
Losieva (Лосева)
Parečča (Парэчча)
Salaccie (Салацце)
Lichačy (Ліхачы)
Uzbieraž (Узбераж)
000.000
000.000
Senovė
Kabeliai
Margionys
Darželiai
752
Marcinkonys
Zervynos
732
Varėna
Matuizos
Pamerkiai
Valkininkai
Kalviai
Klepočiai
Rūdiškės
Šklėriai
Miškiniai
 10  to Trakai
Senieji Trakai
Kariotiškės
 10  to Kaunas
675
Lentvaris
Vokė
Paneriai
658
Vilnius
000.000
000.649
Naujoji Vilnia
634
Bezdonys
610
Pabradė
585
Švenčionėliai
563
Ignalina
540
Dūkštas
520
Turmantas
000.000
000.516
Kurcums
505
Grīva
500
Daugavpils
000.000
000.493
Kūdraine
488
Zaļumi
483
Medupe halt
477
Višķi
470
Vīganti
467
Ārdava halt
462
Aglona
457
Apsāni halt
453
Zalvezers halt
447
Krāce Junction
443
Vainava halt
435
Malta
427
Pūpoli
416
Rēzekne
000.000
000.413
km 322 Junction
to Zilupe│to Riga
409
Kleperova
402
Burzava
395
Ilzēni
385
Mežvidi
380
Pureņi
374
Malnava halt
371
Kārsava
Latvia
Russia
border
000.000
000.306
Ostrov (О́стров)
257
Pskov (Псков)
129
Luga (Лу́га)
Baltic Railway
to Narva (Нарва)│to Paldiski, Estonia
42
Gatchina (Га́тчина)
to
Saint Petersburg
Vitebsky Rail Terminal
0
Saint Petersburg
Warsaw Rail Terminal
km

HistoryEdit

ConstructionEdit

In February 1851 the Tsarist Government of Russia made a decision to build the St. Petersburg–Warsaw railway line with a length of approximately 1,250 kilometers. It was built to Russian gauge. Construction was completed in 1862.

 
Now abandoned line between Marcinkonys and Porechye in Lithuania

The first section of the railway was completed in 1853 between Saint Petersburg and Gatchina, with daily scheduled train service started on 31 October 1853. On 19 July 1858 the first train arrived in Pskov.[1]

In May 1858, construction started near Vilnius on the first section of 19 kilometers. On 1 May 1859 the ground works started along the entire route DaugavpilsVilniusLentvarisKaunasKybartai. The end of summer of 1860 marked the end of the construction of the Ostrov-Daugavpils–Vilnius railway. The first train from Daugavpils arrived in Vilnius on 16 September 1860. In 1861, this branch was completed to the Prussian border, and between Verzhbolovo Station in Kybartai and Eydtkuhnen in Prussia (now Chernyshevskoye in Russian Kaliningrad Oblast) the first junction between Russian gauge and standard gauge railway systems was built, with rails in both gauges between the border stations.

The construction of the section from Lentvaris to Warsaw was completed on 15 December 1862.

The first locomotives for the St. Petersburg–Warsaw railway were bought in England, France, and Belgium. They were “G” class 0-6-0s with two cylinders. They were produced in Manchester in 1857, in Paris in 1860, and in Belgium in 1862. Their weight was 30–32 tons.

 
St. Petersburg–Warsaw railway station in Daugavpils

The portion between Vilnius and Warsaw was rebuilt in the standard gauge in the 1920s when that area belonged to Poland. The railway was partly destroyed during both world wars.

 
Map from 1902 which includes all of the railway

PresentEdit

A 224km section of the line between Zielonka, some 13km north-east of Warsaw and Kuźnica Białostocka on the Polish-Belarusian border, some 54km north-east Białystok is today designated by the Polish National Railways PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe as PKP rail line 6. It is one of countries major trunk lines. Since 2014 the line is being modernized to ultimately allow passenger trains to run at 200 km/h (125 mph) and freight trains at 120 km/h (75 mph), works include renewal of tracks and overhead lines, replacing level crossings with tunnels or overpasses and installation of ETCS level 2.[2] The line is electrified along its entire length, and has two tracks up to Białystok.

In Zielonka a 9km long line built in 1933, today designated PKP rail line 449 branches of from the former Warsaw-Sankt Petersburg railway south to the former Warsaw–Terespol railway and through it to the Warsaw Cross-City Line and the other trunk lines of the Warsaw Railway Junction. The original route continues south-west as PKP rail line 21 terminating at the Warszawa Wileńska station in Warsaw Praga district, without reaching the city center. This segment is used only for local passenger traffic in the Warsaw metropolitan area, however due to large passenger volumes it is designated as a primary line. Line 21 also extends north-east from Zielonka to Wołomin along line 6, giving a total of four tracks on this segment.

From Białystok to Kuźnica Białostocka line 6 has only one track, which shortly before the Polish-Belarusian border is joined by a broad gauge track designated PKP rail line 57, with several transshipment facilities along its route. Both lines extend across the border and continue from Bruzhi into Hrodna, with the standard gauge line electrified at 3 kV DC which is commonly used by the Polish railways, rather then 25 kV AC used on the two Belarusian trunk lines. This allows Polish trains to reach Hrodna without the need for time consuming break of gauge operations and replacing traction power, and before 2020 Polish companies offered regular connections there.

From Hrodna however only the broad gauge track continues to Uzbieraž on the Belarusian–Lithuanian border. The track from the border to Marcinkonys in Lithuania has been dismantled at some point at the beginning of the 21st century, from Marcinkonys to Vilnius and further north-east the line remains in use for local regional traffic, although there have been some sporadic connections between Vilnius and Daugavpils.

Trains traveling between Warsaw and Vilnius today have to take a long detour through Ełk and Kaunas. With Belarus under the Łukašenka regime being a rogue state it appears extremely unlikely a direct connection through Hrodna might be restored in the foreseeable future. Instead a project called Rail Baltica is underway to upgrade existing infrastructure and build new standard gauge lines in order to improve the rail connection from Poland to Lithuania, Latvia, further to Estonia and eventually to Finland, running entirely within EU territory.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Put' k Varshave" Путь к Варшабе [Route to Warsaw] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
  2. ^ "O inwestycji". PKP PLK Rail Baltica (in Polish).

SourcesEdit

  • "Line Riga–Valka celebrates 120 years". "Latvijas dzelzceļš". Latvian State Railways. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2009. In 1907 Baltic Railway was merged with St.Petersburg–Warsaw Railway and was made the Northwest Railways
  • Rakov, V. A. (Vitaliĭ Aleksandrovich) (1995). Lokomotivy otechestvennykh zheleznykh dorog 1845-1955 Локомотивы отечественных железных дорог 1845-1955 [National railways locomotives 1845–1955] (in Russian). Moscow: Transport. ISBN 5-277-00821-7.