Russian Railways owns hundreds of thousands of real estate properties across Russia. Its portfolio not only includes depots and station buildings, but also stadiums, community centers, camps, and cottages. Many of them can be legally rented or purchased. Strelka Mag has examined the catalog of Russian Railways properties for sale right now and has selected seven of the most intriguing offerings.
Russian Railways has five water towers advertised for sale on its website. One of them is located at Varshavsky railway station in St. Petersburg. According to the local committee for the state preservation of historical and cultural monuments, the tower was built in the mid- to late XIX century and is an identified cultural heritage site. However, Russian Railways’ description lacks information on its status and states the year 1918 as its construction date. A call for bids opened on February 18 and a public auction will be held in April, with a starting price of 1,849,830 rubles (US$28,000).
Leninskaya train station is situated in the Moscow region, near the Gorki estate where Vladimir Lenin died in 1924. The funeral train carrying the revolutionary’s body to Moscow departed from this station. The year 1954 saw a new station building open: a three-story one with two dozen columns and a spire with a glass star on top. Despite its regional cultural heritage site status, the building was eventually abandoned. A new owner of the site can expect a bonus: a Lenin statue which is missing an arm stands in the middle of the waiting hall.
A cluster of Moscow Railway historic military supply facilities is situated between the Moscow Central Circle stations Dubrovka and Ugreshskaya. The buildings were constructed in 1903–1908 based on the architect Alexander Pomerantsev’s projects and now have cultural heritage site status. Right now, Russian Railways is selling two buildings in the cluster: a commandant’s house and a barrack. Based on the description on the website, the buildings require renovation and one of them is home to squatters who the company is trying to evict through court action. The starting purchasing price of the buildings is 65.3 million rubles (US$98,860).
Architectural landmarks make up a fraction of the Russian Railways facilities currently for sale. The company is mostly getting rid of semi-demolished buildings and garages. Still, there are interesting specimens among the neglected properties.
For example, a station building in Toroshino village near Pskov. The building itself is generic, but it is located on a historic site. Emperor Nicholas II visited the station in 1903, while 1918 saw the pushback to the German offensive there. In 1944, partisans carried out a successful raid nearby against the Nazis. The building has been decaying in recent years and is now boarded up. Russian Railways has also painted it on-brand grey, taking away any former gloss. Perhaps a new owner could restore its old look. The price tag is 500,000 rubles (US$7,570).
Russian Railways owns a monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Cheka, the first Soviet secret police, in central Penza. The company is selling it along with a small park in front of the Palace of Culture, a local community center that is itself a namesake of Dzerzhinsky. The auction is scheduled for March 12 in Samara. The lot price is 1,150,001 rubles and 20 kopeks (US$17,411 and two cents – the state-owned company likes precision).
In 2008, someone threw red paint on the Dzerzhinsky statue, so any buyer should be aware of the revolutionary’s controversial role in Soviet history.
Lesser known among the many Lokomotiv stadiums by the same name, this stadium in Moscow’s Lyublino Park was built in 1936. It has played host to the Lokomotiv, Spartak, and Torpedo football clubs. It was also one of the venues in the 1957 World Festival of Youth and Students.
After WWII, seating constructed out of former German railway tracks was installed in the stadium but has since disappeared. The historical facilities at the stadium are perishing, and the site itself has been closed down and identified for sale. However, the price is yet to be announced.
Russian Railways’ real estate website can be used for home finding, too. The catalog includes several houses and over 100 apartments. The most peculiar one is located in a nine-story house in Krasnoyarsk.
The three-bedroom, 200-square-meter apartment is decorated with classical statues and columns, and is complete with an en suite sauna. It is priced at 9.3 million rubles (US$140,709).