Children's Railways of the former USSR Past and Present
At the initiative of the Komsomol, in 1940 NKPS (the National Commissariat of Ways of Communication, Moscow), started construction of an electric Children's Railway 11.4 km long in Izmailovsky park, (named after Stalin).
Reconstruction of the track plan of the electric DZD, drawn by A.K.Filippov
The Main station of the Children's Railway was planned to be located at one of the entrances to the "Stalin Stadium" (now known as "Izmailovsky" park, built at the same time). It was intended that circular trips around the park would both begin and finish here. The first stop was at a small station constructed in a style evoking the Russian national fairy tale within a rich coniferous wood alongside the Deer Pond. The next station was sited at the park's Red Pond. The idea was to include concert and reading halls within the projected station building there - 100 years after construction of the first railway in Russia, station buildings should combine transport and pleasure functions! The third station was located at the border between the park and the "Shosse Entuziastov" ("highway of Enthusiasts"). The design of this station was based on the theme of "Oborona Rodiny" ("Defense of the Motherland"). The fifth and sixth stops should be located in the territory of the park assigned for the big Moscow zoo. These station buildings were designed to accommodate work by young people with animals and plants. The final station was back at the Big Pond. This station's building was also dedicated to young athletes, therefore it was planned to integrate it with a big gymnasium, showers and dressing-rooms. Even the quantity of rolling stock was already
Besides the electric trains, a separate line for operation with steam locomotives was planned also. It should have run from the main station to Cherkizovskoe highway and to Medvenskoe lakes in the Pogonno-Losiny reserve. This line was planned to be 8 km long.
The line's rolling stock should have consisted of type 2-4-4-2 electric locomotives and streamlined type 2-6-2 steam locomotives equipped with a mechanical stoker. This shows how important what would have been the first electric railway training-centre in the country was regarded. Electric locomotives, steam locomotives and coaches for the Children's Railway were specially developed by the Moscow Institute of Railway Transportation.
Alas, construction of the railway was prevented by the war, which had a strong effect in delaying the development of the whole park. Stalin's plan for a big Moscow zoo was not proceeded with, and until the 1970s the territory remained semi-developed, having the status of a forest park. Probably, some station buildings for this line were constructed and still now are in the park. According to unconfirmed reports, the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line of the Moscow Metro was indeed laid (between "Izmailovsky Park" and "Pervomayskaya" ("May Day") stations) on the site of the never-built line for steam locomotives.
Note: The nearest ChRW to Moscow is at Kratovo (about 45 km away).
The following material was used in the preparation of this account: