140 years since the opening of the first marshalling yard in Russia

18 October 2019
140 years since the opening of the first marshalling yard in Russia

October 22 marks the 140th anniversary of the opening of the first sorting station in Russia: its current name is St. Petersburg-Sortirovochny-Moskovsky. The design of the station began in 1877, since at the existing station Petersburg, located on the site of the present station St. Petersburg-Glavny, where passenger operations and cargo operations were combined, it was necessary to separate cargo operations from marshalling.

Photo: archive of JSC Lengiprotrans

In the Note on the device near St. Petersburg of a special station for maneuvers, which on May 5, 1877, the designers presented to the director of the road IF Koenig, 6 options were considered "possible simplification of the movements being made to save space, time and labor." With this in mind, the option of a two-way marshalling yard, divided by main passenger routes, was selected and developed.

789 thousand rubles were spent on the construction of a marshalling yard, the track development of which consisted of 48.15 versts and 146 turnouts. rub. The completion of the construction of the station and its commissioning took place in 1879. Initially, the station handled 4–5 trains per day. The staff consisted of over 100 people. 

The number of tracks in the parks of the station was determined by the technology of train service. The even system consisted of a 10-track receiving park, a 14-track marshalling yard and a 10-track departure park. The odd system included a 6-track receiving park, a 7-track marshalling yard and a 6-track departure park. There were 53 routes in total. 

For almost a century and a half, the station has undergone many changes and improvements. In 1907, for the first time, it was seriously re-equipped, instead of inclined exhaust tracks, marshalling humps were used, and a locomotive depot was also built. The period 1928–1940 is associated with the introduction of new technical means and advanced methods of work at the station: with the help of pneumatic retarders installed on the lowering part of both hills, the process of braking the cars was mechanized, the switches were equipped with hump automatic centralization (HAC) — a system for automatic translation of all switches along the rolling route of the car. 

The first technological process of the station's operation, developed in 1935, made it possible to link the work of all related services, aiming their activities at increasing the throughput and processing capacity of the station. Since that time, all design and survey work on this object was carried out by two institutes: Lengiprotrans (Lentransproekt) and Giprotransignalsvyaz. With the active and creative role of the operators, the Leningrad-Sortirovochny-Moskovsky station became a laboratory for the development and implementation of advanced technical and organizational solutions. During the blockade, the station was at the forefront of the defense of Leningrad, and, despite this, under continuous shelling, the Sortirovochnaya formed military transports with ammunition for the military units of the Leningrad Front, disbanded the trains with cargo arriving from the mainland. 

In 1962–1963, according to the Lengiprotrans project (Chief Project Engineer V.V. Keltuyala), the receiving and departure tracks in the reception park No. 2 and in the departure park No. 11 were lengthened to 850 meters. Also, these parks were equipped with a contact network. The solutions adopted in this project allowed the station to freely accept and dispatch trains until 2000.

In 1964, for the first time in the country at the station, devices for automatic control of the speed of cuts rolling (ARS) were introduced, allowing, depending on the speed and weight of the car, the freedom of sorting tracks, to automatically perform interval and targeted braking of cars without the participation of shoe makers - people of heavy and dangerous physical labor.

In 1972-1974, according to the project for the construction of an overpass through the tracks of the Leningrad-Sortirovochny-Moskovsky station along the central arc highway, developed by Lengiprotrans (G.A. Pavlov and NA Bazhenov), an even sorting hump was reconstructed with the transfer of the thrust paths, the hump of the slide and the track development of the downhill section to new ordinates.

According to the project Lengiprotrans (Chief Project Engineer N.A. Bazhenov), additional work was also carried out on the track reconstruction of the station: the tracks of reception parks No. 1 and marshalling yard No. 3/5 of the odd system, departure yard No. 16/20 of the even system were extended, 7 additional tracks were laid in the sorting yard No. 8 of the even system. 

November 2, 1979 by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for high production achievements and in connection with the 100th anniversary of the station Leningrad-Sortirovochny-Moskovsky was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor. The first “sorting” of the country was named: the Order of the Badge of Honor, Leningrad-Sortirovochny-Moskovsky station. 

In 1982–1986, according to the Lengiprotrans project (Chief Project Engineer B.D. Shchuchiner) modernization of Route Relay Interlocking system (RRI) of reception No. 1 and dispatch No. 5 of the odd system was carried out with the transfer of control panels to the even-numbered hump station. As a result, the working conditions of those on duty at the station have improved. Thanks to a single remote display RRI in the control room, operational control in the station's odd system has improved. Thanks to the Lengiprotrans project introduced in 1994-1995 (Chief Project Engineer B.D. Schuchiner) of shunting electrical interlocking in marshalling yards No. 3 of the odd system and No. 8 of the even system, the complex of works on the centralization of all switches at the station was completed and the switchman profession was eliminated. 

The introduction of powerful electric locomotives on the railway network allowed one locomotive to drive trains weighing 8.0 thousand or more. tons, up to 130 wagons. However, at the main marshalling yard of the North-West region — St. Petersburg-Sortirovochny-Moskovsky station, there were no tracks of sufficient length, which became a limiting factor in organizing the driving of trains of increased weight and length, in optimizing the transportation process due to the use of a smaller fleet of locomotives in operational work. 

Starting in 2000, the management of the railway, with the support of the Ministry of Railways of the Russian Federation, began a comprehensive reconstruction of the St. Petersburg railway junction, including the development of a marshalling yard. The general designer of the reconstruction of the unit was Lengiprotrans, the chief project engineer was V.A. Khralov, authors of the station section — N.A. Bazhenov, section of the signaling system — B.D. Schuchiner. The creative collaboration of designers and operators made it possible to design and implement all reconstruction measures practically without interruption in train traffic.

During 2000–2001, due to the closure and dismantling of the overpass along Aleksandrovskaya Fermy Avenue, located above the odd neck of the Obukhovo station, the receiving-departure tracks of the even-numbered receiving fleet No. 2 were lengthened with the ability to receive trains with a length of 71–100 wagons. From that moment on, the station was ready to receive long-distance trains from the Volkhovstroevsky direction, which is the main one for freight traffic, due to the liberation of the St. Petersburg — Moscow line for passenger traffic. Obukhovo station merged with park number 2 and became part of the marshalling yard. Taking into account that the new configuration of the entrance throat of the park No. 2 and the exit throat of the Obukhovo park coincided with the previous one, the management of the parks No. 2 and Obukhovo-cargo was carried out from the old posts of the MRTs.

In 2002, the 3rd and 4th main tracks were built on the Rybatskoye - Izhora stretch, the 4th main track on the Obukhovo — Rybatskoye section, the main passenger route from the new park was re-laid to interchange the freight and passenger traffic on the approach to the hub Obukhovo-Passenger to the Sortirovochnaya platform, which opened up the prospect for lengthening the odd departure fleet No. 5.

In 2003, the reception and departure tracks of the odd departure fleet No. 5 were lengthened to a capacity of 100–150 wagons, the number of tracks was increased to 20. The track reorganization of the park was one year ahead of the introduction of electrical interlocking, so the station workers had to prepare train and shunting routes manually for a long period of time, as it was at the beginning of the 20th century. The station attendants experienced a huge load, who, instead of the usual remote display, where all movements were visible, had a design diagram of the park pasted onto the inoperative display.

In 2004, on the eve of the 125th anniversary of the station, a microprocessor-based centralization of switches and signals was introduced in Park No. 2, combined with the Obukhovo-Gruzovoye Park, and in Park No. 5. The station attendants "saw" the real situation in park No. 5 not from the report of the switchmen, but on the plasma panel and monitors of the new centralization. Again, at the command of the person on duty, the arrows began to be translated, the enabling lights of the traffic lights came on cheerfully.
The commissioning of microprocessor-based centralization in the Obukhovo-Passenger park in 2006 completed the 6-year reconstruction of the marshalling yard. In 2010, the replacement of the GAC and ARS systems with the KSAU-SP system developed by NIIAS was completed at the odd sorting hump.

A long and glorious track was passed by the St. Petersburg-Sortirovochny-Moskovsky station, which even today in terms of volume indicators (car turnover — 12,600 wagons/day, dismantling of wagons from slides — 7500 wagons/day) and technical equipment included in centralization, including 149 p. — RRI, 61 p. — MEC, 156 p. — MOC, 76 p. — GAC; the ARS system with 94 car retarders is used to dismantle the cars from the humps; the deployed length of the station tracks is 196 km) is one of the three largest bilateral marshalling yards of the network, along with the stations Chelyabinsk-Glavny and Inskaya (g. Novosibirsk).

On the day of the 140th anniversary, we congratulate our dear colleagues and wish the station further successful development! 


Material provided
Deputy General Director
for the production of JSC Lengiprotrans
A.N. Sedov

(in 1998–2003, chief engineer,
head of the St. Petersburg-Sortirovochny-Moskovsky station)

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