The International Steam Pages

Retro Trains in Russia, 2009

For a 2013 Moscow area Retro train ride see Moscow Retro Steam Trip to the Space Village / Star City.

Thomas Kautzor reports his visit to the country, which also included the Rostov Railway Museum and the city's Children's Railway.

A number of other Retro-Trains operate in Russia:

In Moscow between the Rizhshkaya Railway Museum and Krasn’iy Baliyets Depot from Wednesday to Sunday, using ER-797-41 and L-3348 (Voroshilograd 5104/1953). Excursion trains are also operated to various destinations in the Moscow area by a private travel agency, see http:// There is a page "Moscow regains steam by Alexey Voulfov" - (link broken by December 2021) - undated but I think around 2008/9, I believe it is this service. Click here for a report by Harvey Smith of a trip on this one.

In Nizhny Novgorod, L-3095 hauls a train around the city during the summer; this is Ivan Malakhovsky's picture form 4th August 2011:

In Irkutsk, the “Baikal Cruise” runs on weekends to Slyudanka and Port Baikal, using L-3438 & L-3485 (both Lugansk 1954). These two locos have been used for the past two seasons, having replaced L-2067 (Kolomna 1953) & L-4639 (Lugansk 1951) which were in use until 2007. The locos run coupled tender to tender, as there are no turning facilities at Port Baikal.

On Thursday November 5th, 2009 (a rainy/snowy day), I rode the steam-hauled Retro-Train between Rostov and Taganrog (60 km), consisting of L-5282 and a single coach. The Rostov Retro-trains are being run by Delta Copy Co. ( link broken by December 2021), formed in 2002, in joint-venture with RZD, using steam locos owned by the Museum of the North Caucasian Railway. The locos are based and serviced at Bataysk-South Diesel Depot, which is located just south of Rostov across the river Don. Heavy overhauls are being undertaken at Tikhoretsk, the location of the North Caucasian Railway’s main workshops. Thanks to Tikhoretsk’s experience in working on steam locomotives, it has recently been selected to also restore locos from the Moscow railway museum.

Currently two steam train excursions are being offered out of Rostov. These run from March to early June, and again from September to December. During the high summer months the trains do not run as there is not enough demand (everybody is at the beach):

Rostov-suburban 10.40 – Gnilovskaya 11.02/12.28 (visit to the railway museum) – Rostov-suburban 13.20, operating from Thursdays to Sundays. Operations started in 2005.
Rostov-suburban 10.10 – Taganrog-I 12.17/15.15 – Rostov 17.15. Taganrog is the birthplace of Chekhov, and there are a number of tourist attractions to visit. This run takes place on average two Saturdays in a month, or when there is sufficient demand (min. 48 passengers). Operations started in 2007.

Trains consist of one or two green coaches. Locomotives in use are:

0-10-0 ER-797-15 (MAVAG 1952, ex Chir reserve), in use 2007-09, sent to Tikhoretsk for overhaul in October
2-10-0 L-2055 (Kolomna 1953, ex Chir reserve), in use since 2007 
2-10-0 L-5282 (Voroschilovgrad 16162/1955), in use since 2008 and seen above
2-6-2 SU250 64 (1949), in use 2005-08, currently at Tikhoretsk for overhaul.

Plans are underway to start a new steam-hauled overnight weekend service to Mineralnye Vody, leaving Rostov Friday nights and returning Sunday evenings. For this, 2-10-2 LV-0233 (Lugansk 1956) has been acquired from Urdoma reserve (north of Kirov) and is currently under restoration to working order at Tikhoretsk.

Other steam locos stored/awaiting restoration at Tikhoretsk include:

0-10-0 ER-769-17 (MAVAG 1950, ex Chir reserve), dismantled inside the workshops since 2006;
0-10-0’s E-774- 67, ER-774-98 and ER-775-04/ER-796-04.

EG-4504 is plinthed in front of Taganrog-II station. 

The Taganrog trams are very colorful (aside from being very derelict), I did not see two cars in the same livery.

Rob Dickinson