Vitebsky railway station, St. Petersburg. Vitebsky railway station is the oldest in Russia. Originally known as Tsarskoselsky, the very first passenger train in Russian history departed from here on Oct. 30, 1837. From 1849 to 1852, a stone building designed by the architect Konstantin Ton was built and later reconstructed in 1870. In 1904, a new railway station was built on the site of the old one. The magnificent building, which features elements of Art Nouveau, a remarkable clock tower and a wonderful interior all designed by the architect Stanislav Brzhozovsky, was from then on known by its current iteration of Vitebsky railway station.
Murom. Located in the southern part of the city, this station’s construction was timed to coincide with the opening of the railway bridge across the Oka River and the launch of a new Moscow-Kazan railway line. Murom's railway station is one of the city's main sights. It's a small, cosy building with a century of history. The architect Modest Durnov originally built the station at the beginning of the 20th century and its unusual neo-Russian style combines kokoshnik patterns, towers at the corners, bay windows and porches. It's not surprising that the Murom railway station is included in the list of architectural monuments. There is a museum at the station that explores the station’s history as well.
Kazan. Kazan railway station is located in the center of Kazan and it provides easy access to the city’s Kremlin, river and bus stations. Architect Henry Rush constructed the main building in 1896 and the station complex includes a commuter terminal as well as the main station. In 2005, the railway station was reconstructed and the surrounding area was renovated for the 2013 Universiade held in Kazan. A small, beautiful park with underground parking was built in front of the main building. Sculptures of white leopards, which are symbols of the Republic of Tatarstan, greet travellers at the entrance to the main building. A woman in Tatar national costume is depicted on the wall of commuter terminal and tourists love to take pictures with her. An Aeroexpress train to Kazan’s airport first started operating in 2013.
Sochi. Architect Alexei Dushkin, who also worked on some Moscow Metro stations, built the Sochi railway station in 1952. The luxurious building has a 55-metre tower with a spire at the top that has become one of the symbols of the city. There is a clock on the tower and the dial is decorated with zodiac signs. There are Italian courtyards with fountains and stucco and painted shades inside. A market, hotels, beaches and the seaport are all located nearby. Simferopol's railway station, built in 1951, is Sochi’s sister station.
Vladivostok. This is the final stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway, which stretches across the whole of Russia from Moscow to Vladivostok. The future Emperor Nicholas II laid the station’s foundation stone in 1891 and in 1893, the grand opening of the station was held. In 1912, the station was expanded, making it look more like Moscow’s Yaroslavsky railway station, which is symbolic since both stations are the end points of the Trans-Siberian railway. A second storey and separate structures over the tracks were added later. During the Soviet era, the bronze double-headed eagle was removed from the station and a mural featuring the emblem of the Primorsky region was painted over while the walls were repainted green. In 1996, the building was completely renovated and the pre-revolutionary look restored. The station is an architectural monument. It has the same Russian style inside and outside, and it is reminiscent of a Russian royal palace. Patterned panels on the walls, Japanese floor tiles dating back to the end of the 19th century, wooden carved doors and other elements are seen throughout the building. A huge ceiling mural depicting historic moments in Moscow and the Primorsky region can be seen in the station’s waiting room.
Samara. Samara railway station was built in 2001 to replace the old building, which had been built in 1876. It is the tallest in Europe, with a spire that reaches 101 metres into the air. An observation deck is located on its fourth floor of the spire at 95 metres height, equivalent to the eighteenth floor of a building. It overlooks the city, the Volga River and the Zhiguli Mountains. You can get to the observation deck only by guided tour. The second floor has a museum dedicated to the Kuibyshev railways.
Yekaterinburg. Yekaterinburg railway station is the largest in Russia outside of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It handles both commuter trains and long-distance trains. The station is a major transport hub, built in 1878 during the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The old station building is located next to the new one and is now the Museum of History, Science and Technology of the Sverdlovsk Railway. There is a monument to a tank soldier and home-front workers on the square in front of it and passengers use the statue as a meeting point before leaving the city. The new building was built in 1914, although the second floor and a colonnade were built in 1939 and the new premises were added in the 1960s. A complete renovation was carried out in 2001. Until 2010, the station was called Sverdlovsk passenger station. There are frescos in the main waiting area dedicated to major events in the history of the Urals: the development of Siberia, the Irbit fair, the execution of the Romanovs and the construction of Uralmash, to name a few.
Belorussky railway station, Moscow. In the 1860s, when the railway was being built from both Moscow and Smolensk at the same time, the station was called Smolensky, then Brestsky, Alexandrovsky and Belorussko-Baltiysky. In 1912, the engineer Ivan Strukov built a wonderful building in a neoclassical style with elements of empire and gothic architecture. The unique look of the station still attracts filmmakers. The pilots Valery Chkalov and Mikhail Gromov, Ivan Papanin and his North Pole researchers, foreign delegations and, of course, returning soldiers at the end of the Second World War in 1945 were greeted at the Belorussky railway station. In 1941, trains departed to the front from here and the song "Holy War" was played for the first time. The station building has a Military Hall and a museum. The station has always been technically well equipped. The first ticket machines were installed at Belorussky and cities like Warsaw, Berlin, Paris and Nice can often be seen on the train schedules. It's Moscow's window to Europe as well as a convenient transfer hub for passengers going to and from the city’s Sheremetyevo International Airport by Aeroexpress train.
Adler. Construction of the new station in Adler began in November 2010. The station serves 3-5,000 passengers per hour, a number that peaked at 20,000 per hour on the opening day of the Olympic Games. Adler railway station is one of the most modern and innovative in Russia.
Travelling by train is an adventure. You can get from point A to point B by plane for a similar amount of money, but you don’t get the same experience in the sky as you do on the ground. Russian railway stations deserve a mention since many were built in the past centuries and these monuments of a bygone era still perform their functions today. Tourist service Tutu.ru helped Lenta.ru compile a list of the most interesting railway stations in Russia.