After many years in Moscow, Harvey Smith relocated to St. Petersburg in 2014.
There is a list of linked reports at the bottom.
(Technically Lebyazhe Railway Museum Depot houses the overflow from the Shushary Museum, St.
Why should anyone want to go?
Simply, this is an opportunity to see:
- A rare World War 2 aircraft - an Il-2 bomber
- The first Class Lv locomotive ever built, which the Chinese used as the basis of their Class QJ. The Chinese QJ
closely resembles the Soviet class Lv. The only obvious difference is the addition of smoke deflectors by the
- 2 railway guns
- A working Class Su steam locomotive
- 24 steam locomotives including the rarer pre-war class Es.
I did not record the electric and diesel locomotives.
The Railway Museum opening hours
The museum is open 3 days a year - the first Saturday in June, July and August
Lebyazhye is on the south side of the Gulf of Finland just outside the flood barrier. Look for Лебяжье in Russian.
You can get the electric train from Baltysky railway station, St. Peterbsurg. The timetable might change so it is better to check it on the day when you need to go there. Timetables are available here:
First time I went to Lebyazhye I travelled along the A121 via Peterhof. This runs along the south shore of the Gulf of Finland. I would not recommend this route to anyone. The A121 is seldom if at all marked. The route is picturesque but the road is slow and I was glad to find the KAD motorway by chance.
The second time I went via the Northern route. This is a much better route. I went out through St.Petersburg to the causeway/flood defences that lead to Kronstadt and then on to the South shore of the Gulf of Finland. Then I proceeded along the A121.
Be warned there is a Police / Military Police Road block at the entry to Lebyazhye. However, they were not stopping anybody when I went through and it is not prohibited to foreigners to enter the settlement.
On arrival by car look for the war memorial with the Il-2 aircraft on a plinth. When you see this you can take the right
fork to Krasnaya Gorka Fort or carry on the next small cross roads and turn left and go down the side of the yellow army building past the plinthed armoured vehicle and to the railway station.
The Railway Museum
This is completely unmarked. It is difficult to find, but visible on Google Earth. It took me an hour and eventually I had to ask the lady operating the level
crossing. Go to the South side of the railway track by the level crossing operator’s shed. Go right here and down the dirt track that is parallel to the railway track. You will see a water crane in the track. Follow the road to the left. It gets bumpy. You have to go through the cemetery. Go
past the wooden chapel and a man in a container selling granite tombstones. Turn right and travel in an East to West direction. Do not take the first road left, at the second container with a man selling tombstones. This leads to an engine shed, which was being used as a garage for a truck. Keep on going until you come to a fork in the track. One fork will go north the other will go south. The fork to the left / south is not marked on
Google maps. Take the fork going the left / south. You will see the museum. Sadly, most of the museum exhibits are rusty and losing their paint. The weathering is worse on the northern sides of the locos, so it is best to look for numbers on the south facing sides.
The museum staff are unbelievably enthusiastic and hospitable. A staff member called Nadezhda was particularly welcoming and helpful. We were allowed into the cab of the working Su 206.56 locomotive. The exhibits are generally
complete. So do not let the rust and paint put you off.
One of the mysteries for me is that there is an existing engine shed in close proximity to the museum, but it is used as a garage for a truck. It still has track leading to it. To my mind it would be better used for restoration of the locomotives.
I am not interested in diesel and electric locomotives so the only electric locomotive number I noted was VL22-179
Steam locomotives present comprised:
- OR-18.01 (The first Class LV that gave rise to the Chinese QJ)
- SU206-56 (working at the time of visit)
- TE- 6644 (a good paint finish)
Cranes (The first two are PC15 or PK15 ; ПК-ЦУМЗ-15, 15 ton steam cranes from the late 1940s-early 1950s which are copies of USATC Brownhoist 15 ton capacity crane.
226 (thought to diesel, possibly a steam to diesel conversion)
227 (appears steam from the chimney, 4 + 4w)
827 (appears steam from the chimney)
On the way back from the museum you can turn right at the crossing gate keeper's shed and travel down as far as the first set of tracks crossing the dirt road. On the right you will see a new railway building with a railway track leading to it. This appears to be storage for emergency vehicles. To the left you will see the body of a railway coach, of a type dating from the 1920s/30s.
Krasnaya Gorka Fortress
This is on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krasnaya_Gorka_fort
If you take the right fork road at the Il-2 aircraft and continue along it,
you will see the sea on your right. You need to go over two level crossings. At the first level crossing you will find a deserted railway station. Shortly before that you will find someone using what appears to be a military observation tower as a dacha. You will finally get to a bus stop where the buses turn around with a large concrete sign on the right saying “Krasnaya Gorka”. If you go a little further you will find a war memorial. Go right at the sign saying “Krasnaya Gorka” and head towards the sea. Go
past the war memorial and the 2 cannons. A path will take you along by the sea at high level and will eventually lead you to the two railway guns. There was also an anti-ship cruise missile on its launcher. Only the launcher remains as scrap thieves stole the missile.
Enthusiastic locals run tours of the fort. I found some people in World War 2 Russian Army uniforms, who were doing this. I joined a Russian group and ended up underground in the bunker system. So take a torch, as the bunkers are unlit.
The smaller railway gun is a TM-1-180. I know of only 3 examples. The other two are in
Victory Park in Moscow (http://internationalsteam.co.uk/trains/russia04.htm), and at the Railway Station in Sevastopol.
The larger 305mm MK-3-12 railway gun has had an interesting history. The chassis was one sent to Hanko Peninsula in Finland in 1940 by the Soviets. In 1941 it was captured by the Finns and refurbished using gun barrels that had been provided by the French during the Winter War of 1940. These barrels were originally from the Russian Alexander III Battleship. This was vessel used by the Whites to evacuate Crimea at the end of the Russian Civil War. The ship sailed to Tunisia, which was a French
colony, and was scrapped in 1936. The barrels were placed in storage and later supplied to the Finns. When the Finns and Soviet Union reached a peace agreement in 1944 the railway guns were handed over to the Soviet Union as reparations. Three such guns survive. The other two are at the
Varshavsky Railway Station Museum and in
Victory Park in Moscow.
LV-4375 and other locomotives
The coach body at the emergency building
The St. Petersburg Outdoor Railway Museum, 2006
The St. Petersburg Outdoor Railway Museum, 2013 (updated
1st January 2016)
A St. Petersburg Railway Miscellany (updated
11th April 2017)
Moscow Railway Station / St. Petersburg Depot, 2014
The Indoor Railway Museum, St. Petersburg, 2014
The Shushary Museum, St. Petersburg, 2006
Moscow Sort Depot, St. Petersburg, 2014
(updated 2nd February 2015)
Grand Maket Rossiya / The Grand Model of Russia
VE Day in St. Petersburg (14th May 2015)
Moscow Sort Depot,
St.Petersburg, 2015-7 (updated 21st March 2017)
The St. Petersburg Southern Children's
Railway (updated 27th June 2016)
The Tsar's Private Railway Station, St.Petersburg
(updated 14th September 2015)
The Shushary Museum, St. Petersburg,
2015 (5th August 2015)
The Northern St. Petersburg
Children's Railway (10th June 2016)
Russian Railways RetroTrain Trip
2016 (14th June 2016)