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Children's Railways of the former USSR – Past and Present

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Mala Pivdenno-Zakhidna zaliznitsa
(South-west Small Railway)

Opened: 2 august 1953
Track-length: 2.8 km
It's lockated in Syretsky Park
3 stations: Pionerskaya, Yablon'ka, Vishyenka (ex. Tekhnicheskaya)
Civil Engineering works: a viaduct in height 19.6 m, 100 metres long
Rolling Stock: 2 diesel locomotives TU7A-3192, TU7A-3197, diesel locomotive TU2-021, 4 Pafawag coaches; formerly: steam locomotive Gr-336 (YuP-336) and diesel locomotive TU1-001
Signalling and communications: bilaterial semi-automatic block, telephone and dispatching communications between stations.
Address: 252112, Ukraine, Kiev - 112, T.Shamrylo street, 4
Tel: +38 (044) 223-7075
General Manager: BRAZHNIK Valeriy Ivanovich
Reference information: guide to schedules and prices


In the summer of 1950, construction of the Kiev ChRW began on waste ground in the Babiy Yar area. However, unlike many other children's railways where the huge amount of work was carried out in a few months, it was under construction for some 3 years. The first train, on what was then called the South-west Small Railway, ran on the Railwayman's Day in 1953. The legendary engine-driver Peter Krivonos – at that time chief of the South-west Railway – was on the footplate.

It was 3.1 km long and had 3 stations – two terminal stations and one intermediate one with a passing loop at which trains could cross. On the route was a grandiose (by ChRW standards) engineering construction – a viaduct across a ravine. It is 100 metres long and 19.6 metres high. (see the photo above)

Right at the end of the 1960's, house-building began in the Volejkiv area. In this connection one of the terminal stations – Komsomolskaya – was closed; a hospital now stands in its place. The railway was rebuilt as a ring, but its length was reduced to 2.8 km.


In the first years of the Kiev ChRW, the train was hauled by the steam locomotive Gr-336 which was named "the Young Pioneer" and displayed number YuP-336. In the second half of the 1950's the railway received, in this order, first diesel locomotive TU1-001 (the prototype of diesel locomotive TU2, only one of which was built), and slightly later (at the beginning of 1960's) diesel locomotive TU2-021. Three 4-coach trains began to run: "Pioneer", "Orlyonok" ("Eaglet") and "Cheburashka" (later - "Kid").

In 1993 the line was on the verge of closing, but the General Manager A.J.Mishchenko managed to prevent that. Nevertheless, encroachments on it proceeded and still do. Notably the steam locomotive Gr-336 was bought by the firm "Dzherelo" for hauling foreign tourists and transferred to one of the Carpathian narrow-gauge lines. Diesel locomotive TU1-001 which was maintained on Kiev ChRW until the middle of the 1990's, was cut up into scrap metal in the autumn of 1999. It was not possible to rescue this unique locomotive for posterity. And the station Yablon'ka was dismantled.

On 30 December, 1998, there was a fire at Pioneer station, as a result of which the station buildings were completely destroyed. For the 2001 season, station Yablon'ka has been restored and station "Tekhnicheskaya" ("Technical") renamed as "Vishyenka".

For a long time one of the type TU7 diesel locomotives (its number is not known) was not maintained because of absence of spare parts and complexity of repair. In the winter 1999-2000 "scavengers of non-ferrous metals" reached diesel locomotive TU2-021 and completely ruined it. It was possible to restore it to working condition only at the beginning of the 2001 season. And one of the four coaches is in an emergency condition. Now all the unused rolling stock is stored within walls on sidings inside the ring track.

From 28 instructors only three remain, two of whom are pensioners. Instead of nine changes it will be typed (collected) only two. Nevertheless, the General Manager Anatoly Jakovlevich Mishchenko is not inclined to estimate the situation as critical - the management of the South-west Railway continues to assist with repairs and rolling stock up to a point. As he said, Kiev ChRW is now not at its best time, but necessarily it will survive.


The following materials were used in preparing this report:
  • materials of the Central museum of a railway transportation (St.Perersburg)
  • materials from A.K.Filippov's and P.A.Strelkov personal archive
  • Mala Pivdenno-Zakhidna zaliznitsa, Kiev, 1961
  • Detskie Zheleznye Dorogi, M., TransZhelDorIzdat, 1957
  • materials given by Vadim Dzygun
  • Newspaper "Fakty i Kommentarii" ("Facts and comments"), January 1999
  • Newspaper "Segodnya" ("Today"), № 561, 22.04.2000
  • Yandex of quotation
    Rambler's Top100 Service

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