The armored car for the leader: why Brezhnev didn't love planes

History 31/12/19 the armored car to the leader: why Brezhnev didn’t love planes

Now the leaders of Russia, the oligarchs and businessmen prefer to travel on private jets and helicopters even for short distances. But there was a time when diplomatic visits and trips across the country in the Soviet Union and Imperial Russia used a special “lettered” trains. They are distinguished by a high degree of protection and comfort. Especially on this train, loved to travel around the country Councils, the General Secretary of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev. For example, in 1978, he traveled through the Soviet Union to Vladivostok, stopping in all the major cities of the country. Of course, the “special” was equipped with all necessary for work of the Secretary General and to receive guests.

the Legacy of tsarist Russia

for the First time this train appeared in the XIX century, during the reign of Emperor Nicholas I, or as it was called by the Bolsheviks – Nikolai Palkin. This “retrograde” was a very progressive minded person. To travel to the country of the Emperor and his family, in 1836, was built a special four-axle wagon, richly decorated inside. The walls were upholstered in scarlet damask and white satin, the coupe had a higher comfort. The ends of the car had extensive grounds, which the Emperor could emerge to greet the people; above the Windows housed a Golden double-headed eagles.

In 1851 there appeared in Russia the first Imperial “lettered” part. The car of Nicholas I had a length of 36 meters, and the whole train consisted of 15 carriages.

After the collapse of the “lettered” near Kharkov in 1889 the Emperor Alexander III commanded to produce at the Alexandrovsky plant a new composition, which he soon inherited by Nicholas II – he used it until 1905. Later the last king has several of their own “lettered”, one he used near St. Petersburg, the other traveled around the country for the long haul. The main Imperial the composition had a “twin” – in order to mislead the terrorists.

His abdication, Nicholas II signed in the car-salon “literal”.

After the revolution, almost all the cars of the Imperial train were killed in the fire. They were chosen by the leaders of the revolution and warlords. For example, in the cars of Nicholas II during the Civil war almost two years, Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky, their trains had Tukhachevsky, Frunze and Semyon Budyonny.

Train in the USSR

the Tradition of travel around the country by train was continued by Joseph Stalin. He had his own “lettered” train No501, in which the leader was equipped with an armored car weighing 80 tons. Accompanying the leader of the military, diplomats and Commissars were located in other cars. Train No501 Stalin got to the airport in Baku, where the aircraft flew to the Tehran conference, where he traveled to Yalta and the post-war conference of the leaders of the allies in Potsdam. For the sake of this trip were quickly built a new railway line that went from the Soviet border to the Potsdam – its length was 828 km.

Following the “leader” of the Soviet Union Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev continued the tradition – he, too, had his special train. It is known that Khrushchev traveled to the USSR in the Crimea and the Caucasus, on it he arrived in Vienna for a meeting with John Kennedy, President of the United States.

the Train Leonid Brezhnev

But most of all his predecessors liked the train Leonid Brezhnev. The fact that he had high blood pressure, and doctors forbade him to fly unnecessarily. Therefore, Brezhnev traveled the country in a comfortable car.

I Must admit that the General secretaries in the Soviet times compared to Imperial Russia was very modest, and the furniture, decorated in gold and some extra amenities that were installed for the Secretary General, now seem quite common.

the special Train Brezhnev was built at the Leningrad carriage works and could be of different lengths – aboutt five to seven three-axle wagons, which pushed two coupled locomotive ЧС2 production of Czechoslovakia. Served train in the shops of the Moscow car repair plant. Voitovich.

the Secretary General Himself traveled in an armored car 1959 model year. The weight of the car was 100 tons. For evacuation during emergencies in the floor of the compartment Brezhnev was equipped with a special hatch. In the car were two compartments, equipped kitchenette, walk-in closets. Compartment were connected by a bathroom, which was a real bath.

Finish match time: a lot of lacquered wood, gold, Roman blinds, German system of supply fresh air was hidden by wooden panels.

in addition to compartments in the carriage was a meeting room here at the big oval table, attached to the floor, going to the party bosses.

according to the article, “the Special train of Leonid Brezhnev” author Igor Lensky (the newspaper “Hooter”), the Secretary boarded the train at the station Moscow-Kalanchevskaya (Alexis branch). Usually among the people who accompanied him on the trip, was the head of a party cell of the Moscow-Kursk division of the Moscow railway Leonid lugovskiy. He testified that never saw Brezhnev motorcade pulled into the station. This gave rise to rumors that from the Kremlin to the station, led underground tunnel with Brezhnev on the car ride to the station.

the Entire composition of “lettered” in a mandatory manner under the control of the employees of the ninth Department of the KGB. They were placed in all the carriages, and even in the cab. Spaccarelli have been placed around the route of the “lettered” at all stations, switches, overpasses, tunnels and bridges.

Even during the day, Brezhnev did a half-hour stop at stations of major cities at this time he was approached by party workers reports.

never in all the time of Brezhnev on the railroad was not a single incident with a “lettered” by train workers and road KGB RAbuali was perfect.

After the collapse of the country of Soviets of the USSR Brezhnev a car used infrequently. According to rumors, in 1996, it to Rostov-on-don has passed the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin, in 2000 they once took advantage of Vladimir Putin. But mostly the car rented stars and politicians. Now all members survived it was the car of Brezhnev – it is sometimes put on display during the holidays. For use on the railway it is out of date.

Maya Novik

© Russian Seven

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