Kaliningrad 2004 - Day 2
April 30, 2004
On Friday May 30, we were traveling along lines in the western and northern part of the region. First, we went to Baltiysky Les (formerly Peyse), a freight-only station on a branch from the main line to Baltiysk. Before arriving there, our engineer together with a train dispatcher managed to meet our train with a commuter train in Lesnoye Novoye station in a way that neither had to stop (to a dismay of photographers who missed a picture). But let's get back to Baltiysky Les. This station is an important transfer point for cargo to the port of Komsomolskiy and the traffic is still heavy. Several business tracks and connecting lines, mostly unused, branch off the line. Originally, it was possible to get to Baltiysky Les from both East and West, but nowadays only the line from Kaliningrad is available. After taking pictures, we came back to the main track, to junction O.p. 26 km, where we changed direction and continued to Baltiysk.
Baltiysk (Pillau) is an important Russian military base. Entering the city is supposedly possible only with a permission. Luckily, we did not have any problem. The military is visible everyhere. There are no monuments in the city.
After touring the city, it was time to return. Originally, we wanted to travel along the coastal line Primorsk (Fischhausen) - Yantarny (Palmnicken) - Svetlogorsk 1 (Rauschen). Unfortunately, it dwas not possible - the line was closed due to a bad technical condition. We had to return to Kaliningrad and immediately continue to Svetlogorsk 2. The landscape is flat, with few forests. Svetlogorsk is an important holiday resort. It was not destroyed by war or Communism and has a spa atmosphere. There is a high elevation between the train station and beach, spanned by a cable car in summer. It is not expected that somebody would walk (the slope is mainly fenced by various military institutions) and as the cable car did not work, we had to take a long walk through the whole city. Further on, there is also a view-tower. After about an hour in Svetlogorsk, we came back to Kaliningrad and toured two exhibitions of a rail museum. One is located directly on the Southern station (historical engines and railcars), the other one in a nearby cultural center (old photographs, uniforms, IDs and maps).
As the official program ended relatively early, we (four Czechs) decided that we would take a regular train along lines, which were scheduled for the following day, and spend that day in Kaliningrad. We got on a regular train towards Pionerskiy Kurort (Neukuhren), which we already passed in the afternoon, and then continued to Zelenogradsk (Cranz) and back to Kaliningrad. Trains were running fast, number of passengers was average. Seats were wooden. After coming back to Kaliningrad, we took a streetcar to the Slaughterhouse and then, after some wavering in the residential areas, reached our hotel in the dark.
Railroad curiosities (historic map):
© Jan Pešula, 2004