Welcome to our site about Russian railways. No, we are not referring to the Russian joint-stock company "Russian railways", we are referring, instead, to all the railways of the former USSR with a 1520 mm gauge. The gauge is the measurement between the tracks that the train wheels ride on.
The gauge width of 1524 mm was "standard" across most of Russia and then the Soviet Union inherited this gauge width; although, it was slightly reduced to 1520 mm. The Soviet Union occupied a large amount of territory under the central government so there were common standards in signaling rolling stock... and most other things. This was a big advantage, as many European railway systems were designed independently for a long time. Now Europe experiences some problems trying to combine all these systems into one large transportation system.
The Soviet Union railway was considered to be an important, military and rather closed system, especially for foreigners. Most railway managers in the former USSR countries are very conservative, so they don't like it when someone is interested in the details of a railway system. All train spotters and other people interested in railways are often considered as "spies" and "terrorists". Some foreign rail fans think that there aren't any train spotters or railway fans in the former USSR countries. However, this is not true.
The aim of the project rusrail.net is to give foreigners an "unofficial" outlet for information about railways in the former USSR countries. As we couldn't find this information on the Internet in English, we want to collect it in one place, so people can publicly view it.
This site is still being developed, so come back soon, but for now you can read and write in our public forum.
The Rusrail.net Team