The romance of industrial St Petersburg

See it with the help of Russian Heritage Railways and the local historian Alexey Shishkin

Russian Railways Museum; Bibliotechny Pereulok 4, Corpus 2

Having opened a couple of years ago, this museum is a spacious, high-tech spot in the goods yard at Baltic Station. The station still feels hard at work with its platforms, space for maneuvering equipment, and access roads between the exhibition and the existing railway network.

The railway near the “Tsar Fridge”

A hundred years ago, the south side of Obvodny Canal was laced with a great network of railway tracks. Up until the 2000s, wagons were sent to the Ice Factory, a major refrigerator plant, the Tsar Fridge, where Leningrad’s famous ice cream was produced. Now that this part is almost never used, you can walk along it and admire Petrograd’s cooperative of warehouses, the (now abandoned) Ice Factory standing proudly like a castle, an old Art Nouveau-style mansion and much more.

Path to the Neva Cosmetics plant, Ulitsa Babushkina 16

A great number of industries are concentrated in the industrial zone on the left bank of the Neva river in the Nevsky district of St Petersburg, from flour-milling to rocket-building, as well as the Neva Cosmetics plant. The affordable products from this company are well-known to a considerable proportion of residents of the city and indeed the region. The company has been operating continuously for more than a century and a half; in tsarist times it even supplied soap to the royal court. A few years ago, the plant was “renovated”, but it didn’t part with its historical railway – almost daily the locomotive drags cars with raw materials from one side of the avenue to the other.