InTramCities with Gordon Stewart


St Petersburg, Russia : 29-30th September, 1985  :  Note : at the time of the visit, the city was called Leningrad
A review of tramways added in 2020

In 1985, the Leningrad tramway was regarded as the largest in the world.  Despite being in a poor state of repair in many places and never helped by the effects of sever winters on track and roadway, new lines were in operation in the rapidly growing suburbs where wide boulevards allowed for efficient central tram reservations. The political changes resulting from the collapse of the Soviet regime led to the election of city mayors whose agendas left little room for tramways, except in the suburban areas. Rapid economic growth in the city led to rapidly increasing motor vehicle traffic and a policy of eliminating trams from the city centre and major arterial roads in favour of turning even more of some already wide highways over to cars. This policy has made for much higher-quality and better maintained roadways.

The first tramway casualty was the most visible of all tramways to the rapidly increasing number of international tourists : the line along Admiralteyskiy prospekt, passing St Isaac's Cathedral, Palace Square, the Winter palace and Hermitage Museum and crossing the River Neva on Palace Bridge to the Museum Quarter on Vassilevskiy Island. This iconic stretch of tramway closed in 1995. It was followed in 1997 by the city-centre terminus loop at Konnushenaya Ploschad.

The ring around the city centre along Sadovaya Ulitsa was curtailed at Sadovaya metro station in 2006 and services past the Field of Mars and over the Troitsky Bridge to the Peter and Paul Fortress abandoned shortly afterwards. 2006 also saw the removal of trams from the Blagoveshchenskiy Bridge, the last link between the city centre and Vasilevskiy Island and the associated tracks along Ulitsa Truda, Ulitsa Glinki, alongside Nikol'skaya Ploschad and onwards on Izmaylovskiy Prospekt. East-west services alonside the Obvodniy Canal were lost at the same time.

The main east-west Avenue and prime shopping street, Nevski Prospekt, lost its trams in 1951 to be replaced by the metro, there remained a number of routes crossing the prestige thoroughfare. Ploschad Vosstaniya, the grand circular junction mid way along Nevski Prospekt had been a busy area for trams and the streets to the north had once been home to a dense network of tracks. Between 2003 and 2005, the remaining service in the north, leading to Bolshehotinskiy Bridge were abandoned.  In 2007, tracks approaching from the south on Ligovski Prospekt were removed and trams turned in a loop around a street block sround 400 metres short of the busy intersection. Services from the east were cut back to a loop off Khersonskaya Ulitsa using streets which had earlier been used for tram services.

The last remaining services which crossed Nevski Prospekt, the north-south route from Ploschad Lenina to Ulitsa Marata along Liteynij Prospekt, Vladimirskiy Prospekt and Kolokol'naya Ulitsa along with the link from Liteyniy Prospekt to the "inner ring" route on Sadovaya Ulitsa via Ulitsa Belinskogo and Inzhenernaya Ulitsa also lost its tram service.

By 2007, the city centre was to all intents and purposes, tram-free.

Amongst the radial routes, the southbound artery of Moskovskiy Prospekt, which lost its tracks north of tram depot No1 in 2006, survived despite duplicating a metro route, possibly because it runs in a central reservation with limited numbers of crossing roads. South of Aviatsionnaya Ulitsa, Moskovskiy Prospekt and its continuation, Pulkovskoye Shosse, also has space for a tram reservation but the centre of the highway is "green" with the former, mainly single-track, route replaced in 1961 by street tracks in the parallel Ulitsa Lensoveta.

The route north-eastwards out to Ruchi'i was proposed for closure. Whilst the innermost part, along Piskarovskij Prospekt as far as Mechnikova fell victim in 2006, services were retained along the rest of Piskarovskiy and along Ulitsa Rustaveli, leading to the extensive network of routes serving the norther suburban districts. These routes in the north were built in the 1970s to serve large housing developments of high-rise blocks and primarily on central reservations of wide boulevards appeared not to be at risk of imminent closure.

The link to the north along Bol'shoy Sampsoniyevskiy Propekt had fallen victim in 2004 but its loss was probably inevitable, being located on-street in a relatively narrow roads whilst trams also used a roughly parallel route on Lesnoy Prospekt.

Other radial routes survived despite closely following the axes of the metro system. One factor in this apparent duplication is likely to be that the distance between metro stations is relatively large and that the underground is therefore not particulary suitable for local journeys. 

The apparent anti-tram policy of the city authorities and in particular that of the incumbent elected city governor appears to have changed somewhat and has resulted in one remarkable reversal of the closure policy. From October 1st 2016, services were re-extended along the whole length of Ulitsa Sadovaya and once again over the Troitsky Bridge.
Fortunately the street-bound tracks from Ploschad Lenina to Ulitsa Marata were not removed and the section along Ulitsa Liteyniy along with the link to Ulitsa Sadovaya were used for a new tourist tram service in 2020. A programme of rolling stock renewal has also been followed.      

One notable change to tramway arrangements in St Petersburg has been the allocation of a network of routes in the eastern part of the city outskirts (
including the area at Prospekt Nastsavnikov at the junction with Irinovskiy Prospekt as seen in the photos below) to a private operator. Built in the 1980s on reserved track on wide boulevards, the new operators have invested heavily in track, rolling stock and customer information systems to transform this part of the city's tramway into a genuinely modern and efficient operation. Operated on a 30-year concession, the first section of upgraded track opened in 2017 and the complete network in 2018, using articulated trams of Stadler's of Metelitsa design. A new link to the existing municipal tram network from Ladhozhskaya metro station along a rebuilt Granitnaya Ulitsa to the loop at Malaya Okhta has been constructed.

A second concession signed with a different company in 2019 provided for 21 km of new track on the southern edge of the city linking Kupchino metro station to the outlying communities of Shushary and Slavyanka. The indicated schedule was for the line to be opened in late 2023 in part and in full in 2024.


The photo list shows approximate locations as noted in 1985. Underneath the main pictures, more detailed notes have been added in 2020.
Certain streets, squares and bridges have been renamed since 1985 and the current names are used for the new notes..

 
Date Film No No Location View Dir Tram Notes
29/09/1985 850141 1 Ploschad Puskinskaja

6253 St Isaac's cathedral in background
29/09/1985 850141 2 Ploschad Puskinskaja

9306
29/09/1985 850141 3 Ploschad Aleksandra Nevskogo

4617
29/09/1985 850141 4 Dvortsovyy Proyezd

9215 View towards Palace Bridge from Palace Square
29/09/1985 850141 5 Chersonskaya Ulitsa

7548
29/09/1985 850141 6 Novgorodskaya Ulitsa


M64 Tram on goods-only service at junction with Prospekt Bakunina
29/09/1985 850141 7 Ploschad Vosstaniya

1449 On Ligovskij Prospekt crossing Nevskij Prospeky
29/09/1985 850141 8 Ploschad Vosstanija

1210 1210 and 1473
29/09/1985 850141 9 Ligovskij Prospekt

4611 Reserved track at junction with Rasstanaija Ultisa
29/09/1985 850141 10 Moskovskiy Prospekt

9250
29/09/1985 850141 11 Moskovskiy Prospekt

2615
29/09/1985 850141 12 Prospekt Rimskogo - Korsakova

6407 Approaching Ploschad Repina
29/09/1985 850141 13 Prospekt Gaza

6226
29/09/1985 850141 14 Lermontovskij Prospekt

1268 1268 and 8420 at junction with Prospekt Ogorodnikova
29/09/1985 850141 15 Prospekt Moskvinoij

2592 At junction with Lermontovskij Prospekt
29/09/1985 850141 16 Prospekt Moskvinoij

0823
29/09/1985 850141 17 Prospekt Moskvinoij

2593 At junction with Ismailovskij Prospekt
29/09/1985 850141 18 Admiraltejskiy Prospekt

9163 St Isaac's in the background
29/09/1985 850141 19 Winter Palace / Hermitage

2525
29/09/1985 850141 20 Winter Palace

1028 Restored historical tram
29/09/1985 850141 21 Palace Square

6324
29/09/1985 850141 22 Winter Palace

2484
29/09/1985 850141 23 Pushkin Square

2564 View across River Neva to the Winter Palace, featuring Rostral Column
29/09/1985 850141 24 Pushkin Square

6235 View across River Neva to the Winter Palace, featuring Rostral Column
30/09/1985 850151 1 Most Stroiteley Out In 2484 Tram approaching bridge en route to Ploschad Puskinskaja
30/09/1985 850151 2 Dobrol'ubova Prospekt In Out 2597 Tower of Peter and Paul fortress in the background
30/09/1985 850151 3 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo

2586 On Maxim Gorky Prospect passing the Lenin Park
30/09/1985 850151 4 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo

2555
30/09/1985 850151 5 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo



30/09/1985 850151 6 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo

4467 At Gorkovskaja Metro station
30/09/1985 850151 7 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo

2438 At Gorkovskaja Metro station
30/09/1985 850151 8 Kirovskij Prospekt Out In
"Leningrad Hero-City" memorial on northern end of Kirov bridge
30/09/1985 850151 9 Kirov Bridge Out In 0809 Peter and Paul Fortress in background
30/09/1985 850151 10 Nastavnikov Prospekt

4644 At the junction with Irinovskiy Prospekt on the route to Rzhevka in eastern Leningrad
30/09/1985 850151 11 Nastavnikov Prospekt

4473 At the junction with Irinovskiy Prospekt on the route to Rzhevka in eastern Leningrad
30/09/1985 850151 12 Sredneokhtinskiy Prospekt


At junction with Shosse Revolucii
30/09/1985 850151 13 Sredneokhtinskiy Prospekt

4745 At junction with Shosse Revolucii
30/09/1985 850151 14 Sredneokhtinskiy Prospekt

7448 At junction with Shosse Revolucii
30/09/1985 850151 15 Sredneokhtinskiy Prospekt

7486 At junction with Shosse Revolucii
30/09/1985 850151 16 Prospekt Nauki

5664 Close to Akademischeskaja Metro station
30/09/1985 850151 17 Prospekt Nauki

5504
30/09/1985 850151 18 Prospekt Nauki

4155
30/09/1985 850151 19 Prospekt Nauki


Twin-car set loading outside Akademischeskaja Metro station
30/09/1985 850151 20 Prospekt Nauki


At Akademischeskaja Metro statiom
30/09/1985 850151 21 Prospekt Nauki

M54 Historical works car at Akademischeskaja Metro station
30/09/1985 850151 22 Avtovo Tram Viaduct

9214
30/09/1985 850151 23 Pl Aleksandra Nevskogo

1269
30/09/1985 850151 24 Pl Aleksandra Nevskogo

1279
30/09/1985 850151 25 Pl Aleksandra Nevskogo

9321
30/09/1985 850151 26 2-ya Sovetskaya Ulitsa Out
In
4604 At crossing with Mytninskaya Ulitsa. 
30/09/1985 850151 27 Ulitsa Kuibysheva

6402 near Kirovskiy Prospekt
30/09/1985 850151 28 Kirov Bridge


View towards Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole)
30/09/1985 850151 29 Marsovo Pole

0809 Also trailer 3491
30/09/1985 850151 30 Inzhenernaya Ulitsa

4551 Between Sadovaya and Fontanka river
30/09/1985 850151 31 Ploshad Puskinskaya

6102
30/09/1985 850151 32 Ploshad Dvorcovaja

9237 Also shows historical tram 1028
30/09/1985 850151 33 Prospekt Nauki


At Akademischeskaya metro station
30/09/1985 850151 34 Prospekt Majorova

6162 At Sadovaija Ulitsa
30/09/1985 850151 35 Avtovo Tram Viaduct

9300
30/09/1985 850151 36 Avtovo





 
Film No No Location (1985) View Dir Tram
850141 1 Ploschad Puskinskaja

6253
Above : Now named Birzhevaya Ploschad, view outside the Zoological Museum, looking towards the Palace Bridge. St Isaac's Cathedral dome is seen behind the tram
850141 2 Ploschad Puskinskaja

9306
Above : Now Birzhevaya Ploschad, view outside the Zdaniye Birzhe (Stock Exchange), looking towards the Palace Bridge. The Hermitage Museum is seen behind the tram in the left background. The "Rostral Column" is under restoration. 
850141 3 Pl Aleksandra Nevskogo

4617
Above : Tram 4617 heads south along Sinopskaya Naberezhnaya, alongside the River Neva. The large building in the background is now the "Moscow" Shopping Centre
850141 4 Dvortsovyy Proyezd

9215
Above : Tram 9215 has just crossed the Palace Bridge from Vassilevskij Island and is approaching Palace Square on Dvortsovyy prospekt. One wing of the massive Admiralty building, headquarters of the Soviet, now Russian, Navy forms the backdrop. Trams were removed from this road in 1995 as the first of a long series of closures.
850141 5 Khersonskaya Ulitsa

7548
Above : Tram 7548 runs along a badly deteriorated trackbed on  Khersonskaya Ulitsa, heading towards the city centre having just left Aleksandra Nevskogo
850141 6


M64
Above : Tram hauling a goods wagon on Novgorodskaya Ulitsa, turning into Prospekt Bakunina
850141 7 Ploschad Vosstaniya

1449
Above : View northwards of Ploschad Vosstaniya from Ligovskij Prospekt, with the Leningrad Hero City obelisk. Trams were removed from here sometime after 2006, with the curtailment of services on Ligovskij Prospekt at Kuznechnyy Pereulok to create a new city centre terminus with a one way loop following this, Ulitsa Mapata and Svechnoy Pereulok. East of Ploschad Vosstanya the last remaining tracks were also removed and trams on Khersonskaya terminated at a loop following Ispolskomskaya Ulitsa, Prospekt Bakunina and Perekupnoy Pereulok.  Immediately to the north of Ploschad Vosstaniya a dense network of lines were closed between 2001 and 2006.
850141 8 Ploschad Vosstaniya

1210
Above : View south along Ligovskij prospekt from Ploschad Vosstaniya. This is now a much-changed scene. The central reservation and trees have been removed and the road is now an extremely busy multi-lane highway. A new "Galeria" shopping centre has been built beyond the inbound traffic lane.
850141 9 Ligovskij Prospekt

4611
Above : Where tracks remain on Ligovskij Prospekt they are in a far better state of repair than in 1985. The trees have, however, made way for more roadway to handle the vastly increased number of motor vehicles
850141 10 Moskovskiy Prospekt

9250
Above : View along Moskovskiy Prospekt towards the city centre. The building in the distance is on the north bank of the Obvodniy Canal. Trams were removed from here and along the canal in 2006. Only a short stretch as far as Depot No 1 was removed as the depot was still required for trams operating on lines in the south of the city. The remaining track is now on an upgraded central reservation but remains in service despite following the exact route of a metro line.  
850141 11 Moskovskiy Prospekt

2615
Above : View along Moskovskiy Prospekt
850141 12 Prospekt Rimskogo - Korsakova

6407
Above : View north-eastwards on Prospekt Rimskogo-Korsakova with the tram approaching Ploschad Repina. Tram services ceased here in 2002.
850141 13 Prospekt Gaza

6226
Above : View south on Staro-Petergofskiy Prospekt, taken from the junction with Rizhskiy Prospekt
850141 14 Lermontovskij Prospekt

1268
Above : View towards the city centre along Lermontovskiy Prospekt at Rizhskiy Prospekt. Tracks here were closed in 2002 and lifted. In the background, services are still extant crossing the Fontanka River on the "Egyptian Bridge" but on leaving the bridge turn left into Troitsky Prospekt
850141 15 Prospekt Moskvinoij

2592
Above : View eastwards along Troitskiy Prospekt from the junction with Lermontovskiy Prospekt with the Orthodox cathedral in the background
850141 16 Prospekt Moskvinoij

0823
Above : View eastwards along Troitskiy Prospekt closer to the cathedral which stands at the junction with Izmaylovskiy Prospekt. Track in the latter, running south to north between the canals and the northern extension along Voznesensky Prospekt to meet tracks in Sadovaya Ulitsa were closed in 2006. 
850141 17 Prospekt Moskvinoij

2593
Above : View eastwards along 1.Ya Krasnoarmeyskaya Ulitsa, the eastwards extension of Troitskiy Prospekt, The now closed tracks in Izmaylovskiy Prospekt can be seen in the foreground   
850141 18 Admiraltejskiy Prospekt

9163
Above : View along Admirateyskiy Prospekt from Palace Square with the dome of St Isaac's Cathedral in the background
850141 19 Winter Palace / Hermitage

2525
Above : Palace Square and Hermitage Museum
850141 20 Winter Palace

1028
Above : View from Palace Square along Dvortsovyy Proyezd towards the Palace Bridge over the River Neva
850141 21 Palace Square

6324
Above :  General Staff Building of the Hermitage Museum, opposite the Winter Palace on Palace Square
850141 22 Winter Palace

2484
Above : View towards Palace Square along Dvortsovyy Proyezd with the Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace) in the background 
850141 23 Pushkin Square

2564
Above : Formerly Ploschad Pushkin and now Birzhevaya Ploschad, view outside the Zdaniye Birzhe (Stock Exchange), looking towards the Palace Bridge. The Hermitage Museum is seen behind the tram in the background.
850141 24 Pushkin Square

6235
Above : View from Pushkin Square (now Birzhevaya Ploschad) over the River Neva to the Hermitage Museum
850151 1 Most Stroiteley Out In 2484
Above :  Tram on Myitninskaya Naberezhnaya at Ploshchad' Akademika Liknacheva approaching Stroitley (now Birzhevaya) Bridge
850151 2 Dobrol'ubova Prospekt In Out 2597
Above :  Tram on Dobrol'ubova Prospekt with a tower of the Peter and Paul Fortress in the background
850151 3 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo

2586
Above : Tram on Kronveskiy Prospekt at Verinskaya Ulitsa, passing alongside the Zoo
850151 4 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo

2555
Above : Tram on the avenue now named Kronveskiy Prospekt at Vvedenskaya Ulitsa, the tracks along which were closed after 2006, much reducing tram services in the Petrogradsky island district and eliminating the link to Primorskiy Park Pobedy.
850151 5 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo


Above : Tram on Kronveskiy Prospekt at Sytnyy Rynok tram stop. The building now houses the ITMO University
850151 6 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo

4467
Above : Tram on Kronveskiy Prospekt at Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt - Gor'kovskaya metro station tram stop
850151 7 Prospekt Maksima Gor'kogo

2438
Above : Tram on Kronveskiy Prospekt at Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt with the St Petersburg Mosque in the background 
850151 8 Kirovskij Prospekt Out In
Above : Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt, formerly Kirovskiy Prospekt, featuring a Leningrad Hero City monument
850151 9 Kirov Bridge Out In 0809
Above : Troitsky (formerly Kirov) Bridge with the Peter and Paul Fortress in the background. Services here were withdrawn in 2006 but reinstated from October 1st, 2016
850151 10 Nastavnikov Prospekt

4644
Above : On Prospekt Nastsavnikov at the junction with Irinovskiy Prospekt on relatively new tracks in what was in 1985 a developing housing area to the east of the city. By 2020 the roads and general environment were in a much cleaner state and the tramway here and on Irinovskiy Prospekt was in the hands of a private operator with tracks and services being upgraded.    
850151 11 Nastavnikov Prospekt

4473
Above : On Prospekt Nastsavnikov at the junction with Irinovskiy Prospekt
850151 12 Sredneokhtinskiy Prospekt


Above : Northbound on Sredneokhitinskiy Prospekt at Sheretovskaya Ulitsa 
850151 13 Sredneokhtinskiy Prospekt

4745
Above : Southbound on Sredneokhitinskiy Prospekt at Panfilova Ulitsa
850151 14 Sredneokhtinskiy Prospekt

7448
Above : Southbound on Sredneokhitinskiy Prospekt at Bol'shaya Porokhovskaya Ulitsa tram junction
850151 15 Sredneokhtinskiy Prospekt

7486
Above : Northbound on Sredneokhitinskiy Prospekt at Bol'shaya Porokhovskaya Ulitsa tram junction
850151 16 Prospekt Nauki

5664
Above : Prospekt Nauki in the northern suburbs. The tram tracks here remain on-street
850151 17 Prospekt Nauki

5504
Above : Prospekt Nauki in the northern suburbs. The tram tracks here remain on-street
850151 18 Prospekt Nauki

4155
Above : Prospekt Nauki in the northern suburbs. The tram tracks here remain on-street
850151 19 Prospekt Nauki


Above : Prospekt Nauki where trams feed the metro line to the city centre at Akademicheskaya
850151 20 Prospekt Nauki


Above : Prospekt Nauki at Akademicheskaya metro station. The same view in 2020 is much different. Behind the metro station which still exists with minor alterations are numerous blocks of flats and the road is busy with motor cars
850151 21 Prospekt Nauki

M54
Above : Prospekt Nauki at Akademicheskaya metro station, viewed south-eastwards. Little has changed in this view, but the area itself has been transformed. 
850151 22 Avtovo Tram Viaduct

9214
Above : This view northwards of a southbound tram on the bridge over Ulitsa Morskoy Pekhoty has changed very little.
850151 23 Pl Aleksandra Nevskogo

1269
, alongside the River Neva. 
850151 24 Pl Aleksandra Nevskogo

1279
Above : Passengers clamour to get aboard on Sinopskaya Naberezhnaya
850151 25 Pl Aleksandra Nevskogo

9321
Above : Sinopskaya Naberezhnaya
850151 26 2-ya Sovetskaya Ulitsa

4604
Above : Tram 4606 on 2-ya Sovetska Ulitsa at Prospekt Bakunina. Services ended here in 2003
850151 27 Ulitsa Kuibysheva

6402
Above : Soviet information board on Ulitsa Kuibysheva
850151 28 Kirov Bridge


Above : Kirov Bridge, now Troitskiy Bridge. The tram is about to leave the bridge at the Field of Mars. The right turn to Konyushennaya Ploschad was abolished in 1997 and the left turn to run down the east side of the Field of Mars to the Sadovaya Ulitsa route round the south of the city centre followed in 2006. Services were restored over the bridge and along Sadovaya Ulitsa in 2016.  
850151 29 Marsovo Pole

0809
Above : View southwards along Marsovo Pole, with the Field of Mars to the left and the grand buildings of the Pavlvsky Lifeguards Regiment to the right. Tracks along this street and Grivoyedov canal Embankment leading to a turning loop at Konyushennaya Ploschad were an early caualty of the tramway closure programme. They were closed in 1997.
850151 30 Inzhenernaya Ulitsa

4551
Above : View eastwards on Inzhenernaya Ulitsa at Klenovaya Ulitsa. The building (one of two similar buildings framing the entrance to Klenovaya and which leads to St Michael's Castle, houses the Multimedia Centre of the Russian Museum. Regular services here have ceased but the track remains for works purposes and is, since 2020, used by the historical tram tourist service.    
850151 31 Ploshad Puskinskaya

6102
Above : Now named Birzhevaya Ploschad, view outside the Zoological Museum, looking towards the Palace Bridge. St Isaac's Cathedral dome is seen in the background
850151 32 Ploshad Dvorcovaja

9237
Above : Palace Square with a historical tram turning out of Admiralteyskiy Prospekt
850151 33 Prospekt Nauki


Above : View from the entrance of Akademicheskaya Metro Staion across Prospekt Nauki to Grazhdanskiy Prospekt. Soviet imagery celebrates forty years since the end of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945)
850151 34 Prospekt Majorova

6162
Above : View northwards of a tram on Prospekt Majorova (now Voznesenskiy Prospekt) at the junction with Sadovaya Ulitsa, the tracks closing in 2006. The building is the Dom Gorodskikh Uchrezhdeniy.
850151 35 Avtovo Tram Viaduct

9300
Above : This view southwards of a southbound tram on the bridge over Ulitsa Morskoy Pekhoty has changed very little.
850151 36 Avtovo


Above : Still recognisable, but with a far better road surface, Kronshtadtskaya Ulitsa in the Avtovo area with a tram heading north towards the city centre


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