Railroad Day cerebrated in Russia
Russian railwaymen celebrate their professional holiday today. The Railroad Day was established in 1896 in accordance with the corresponding decree by the Minister of Railways of the Russian Empire, Knyaz Mikhail Vilkov. It became the first professional holiday of railways employees not only in Russia, but also in Europe.
Originally, the festival date was timed to the birthday of Emperor Nicholay I, June 25th (July 6th). Neither local, nor central railway institutions worked that day. The main celebrations took place at the building of the Ministry of Railways, based in St. Petersburg on the Fontanka embankment.
After the October Revolution the holiday was canceled. The tradition resumed only in 1936, but the date of the celebration was move to July 30th, and in 1940 it was decided to celebrate the Railroad Day on the first Sunday of August. This day is still the date of the holiday, Izvestia reports.
Today, Russian Railways fleet consists of 24,000 long-distance carriages and 16,000 carriages of local trains. Russia’s total length is 121,000 km. It is the third result in the world. The Russian Railways transport about 1,300,000 passengers annually.
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated employees and veterans of the railway transport on Railroad Day, noting that thanks to the success of the industry the industrial potential of the country continues to strengthen. It helps to solve major social problems, the Kremlin press service reports.
"Railways are a key element of the national transport infrastructure. Professionalism and competence of railway employees helps to strengthen the industrial potential of the country and effectively develop interregional and international contacts in order to successfully solve major social problems,’’ the congratulatory telegram reports.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also congratulated employees and veterans of the railway transport on the professional holiday, stressing that the industry is developing successfully and helps to solve to achieve new goals. The greeting telegram by the head of the Cabinet was published on the official website of the Russian government.