The International Steam Pages

VE Day in St. Petersburg, 2015

After many years in Moscow, Harvey Smith relocated to St. Petersburg in 2014. There is a list of linked reports at the bottom.

Harvey Smith writes about the commemoration in St. Petersburg.

Victory in Europe Day is marked with considerably more enthusiasm in Russia than in other parts of the world. The Soviets accepted the German surrender on 9th May 1945, so in Russia VE day is commemorated one day later than 8th May as in Western Europe.

However, in 2015 Russian Railways had a commemoration in St. Petersburg for Victory Day on 7th May 2015. This is not unusual as the period from 1st to 9th May is traditionally a holiday period, with 1st May usually a National holiday in Russia.

The event was held at Finlandia station, St. Peterburg from 10.30am. It was by invitation only but the invitations were free and were distributed by Russian Railways to anyone who cared to collect them.

4 locomotives were parked in steam at the station - OV-324, E-683-32, SO17-2359 and L-5248. The locomotives were stationary, but visitors could climb up and stand in the cabs. A band, a field kitchen and a movie screen playing old news reels were all in operation. Being at Finlandia station, the event did allow me to have a good look around H2 the American built Finnish locomotive that hauled Lenin back from exile.

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Rob Dickinson