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

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Train of the Yaroslavl ChRW
Opened: 1946 / Reopened: April 17, 1970
Length: 3.4 kms
Is located in Yakovlevsky, in a pine forest on the left bank of the river Volga (bus routes 23 and 33 from the centre)
2 stations: Pioneerskaya and Lugovaya (Meadow); 1 platform: Zelenaya (Green)
Rolling stock: diesel locomotives TU6A-2360 and TU7A-2866, 5 PV51 coaches. Formerly, there were diesel locomotives TU3-003, TU3-043 and Pafawag coaches. Steam locomotives HF 11001, Rp-770 and Gr-332 (which is preserved as a monument at Pioneerskaya station)
Signalling and communications: semi-automatic block system
Address: 150054, RUSSIA, Yaroslavl, Pos. Yakovlevsky, DZD
Phone: +7 (4852) 24-58-83, 24-58-61, 24-59-11
General Manager: ROGOZIN, Vadim Aleksandrovich

The first children's railway in Yaroslavl was opened in 1946. The 5.5 km-long track was laid along the left bank of the river Volga. This railway had three stations: Volga, Rodina (the native Land) and Pobeda (Victory).

Track-plan, 1946
To see how the layout at a station evolved, place the cursor under its name and click. Rodina station Volga station Pobeda station

However, the railway was located in a zone of annual freshet flooding. In 1958, in connection with filling of the water basin in the Gorky area, the water level in Volga has risen, and the whole area occupied by the line was under water. The children's railway had to be closed. Design work, and then construction, of the new children's railway at once began. The place - in a pine forest in the picturesque Yakovlevsky bor to Zavolzhsky parts of the city - was determined. The second Yaroslavl ChRW opened on April 17, 1970.

To see how the layout at a station evolved, place the cursor under its name and click. Pionerskaya station Zelenaya platform Lugovaya station

The Yaroslavl children's railway has a length of 3.4 km. The train that runs on it consists of a diesel locomotive and five all-metal PV51 coaches. Prior to the beginning of the 1990s diesel locomotives TU3-003 and TU3-043 were used on the line. An interesting feature of TU3-043 was the self-made control panels made from those of the broad-gauge shunting diesel locomotive ChME3 (for comparison look the usual panel).

Young railwaymen in locomotive cab

The trouble-free TU6-2360 was available also as the auxiliary locomotive on Yaroslavl ChRW. But it appeared to be too heavy for management of young railwaymen, and till now is used only in case of need, for evacuation of the faulty basic locomotive.

In 1990 both TU3 diesel locomotives were written off, and replaced by TU7-2866. For several years the remains of diesel locomotives TU3 were stored on a siding near the depot, where they were repeatedly subject to attacks by vandals. After the next attempt of an arson of one of them, the ChRW management decided to dispose of them as scrap metal, and this as was done in 1996.

The line has two stations - Pioneerskya and Lugovaya (Meadow), with an intermediate halt/platform: Zelenaya. The line is equipped with semi-automatic block signalling, with operation of points and signals by key at the stations. A telecommunication system links the posts of the station attendants and signal cabin, and the station Pioneerskaya has a public-address system.

Train at the Pionerskaya station

The line is in operation from the May holidays until the beginning of September on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (also on Thursdays during the summer holidays) from 10:00 till 16:00. The journey by train from Pionerskaya up to Lugovaya and back takes for 40 minutes, the layover at Lugovaya is 10 minutes, and that at Pionerskaya is 15 minutes.

The following materials were used in preparing this article:
  • the booklet Yaroslavl DZD, 1990
  • The collection "Children's railways of Ministry of Railways of Russia", Moscow, TsDDZh, 1999
  • materials from A.K.Filippov and P.A.Strelkov's private archive
  • materials of the Central museum of a railway transportation (St.Perersburg)
  • materials provided by V.A.Rogozin, chief of Yaroslavl ChRW
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