Kazan railway junction is one of the largest in the country. Dozens of passenger and goods trains pass through it every day. It’s not surprising that the railway station has always been a distinctive symbol of the city. Citizens of Kazan are proud of this decoration peace of their capital that occupies an important place in the architectural ensemble of the city.
On the eve of the 20th century Kazan was one of the largest administrative, cultural, commercial and industrial centres of Russia, but nevertheless it had no railway transport for a long time. At the end of 1890 the Head of Kazan Administration went to Moscow with the application for permission to build a railway in Kazan. But the decision was made only in 1891. That year the construction of Moscow-Kazan railway and building of the railway station started simultaneously.
The magnificent building of red brick was built to the project of architect G. B. Rushet. By that time regular goods and passenger railway traffic effected by two pairs of goods and passenger trains was opened on the road section between Sviyazhsk and Kazan.
Before passengers used to cross the river by boat or drove in a sledge in winter and went on their way by train because there was no bridge over the Volga by that time. The problem was solved only in 1913 when the railway bridge was opened. At the beginning the trains reached Moscow from Kazan within 53 hours; now a train from Kazan to Moscow covers the distance of 800 km in 13-14 hours. And in 2001 after setting up a high-speed regime trains will need 8 to 9 hours.
The well-kept building of the station functioned until the fire of March 17th, 1992 when everything was destroyed but the walls and the foundations.
In 1993 restoration of the building of the station began. It was commissioned in 1997 for the day of its 100th anniversary.
The staff of the railway and builders constantly felt attention of the leaders of the Republic of Tatarstan and the City Administration of Kazan. Specialists of various professions took part in renovation and development of Kazan railway station.
The Head of the City Administration K. Iskhakov and the Chief of Kazan railway section G. Tulisov attached a great importance to this work. In the course of reconstruction outer surfaces were restored according to the original plaster decoration.
The front wall is decorated with a stylized clock and lanterns. The walls and the floor are made of natural durable materials, such as marble and granite that turn the interior of the station into a real palace.
There are christal chandeliers and glasses, modern halogen lamps visually enlarging the hall.
The building reconstructed with care continues to serve people and gives its guests a warm welcome and ensures all convenience for departing persons. The railway station equipped with modern devices meets all the requirements of the modern technology of passenger service.
After the reconstruction the building of the station accommodates 770 passengers. There are three waiting rooms, a hall for official delegations, a restaurant, premises for mothers and kids, a well equipped information office with broadcasting centre, news stands etc.
In 1967 a building of two floors was built to the project of architect Agishev to relieve the main building.
In 1987 new administrative buildings of Kazan railway were built of red brick near the old one. Forming the ensemble of the square they create architectural support to the main building of the railway station. The clock tower completes the layout of the station square from the side of Narimanov and Chernyshevsky streets.
At the same time the whole outlook of Kazan railway station changed.
Principal reconstruction of the station square was carried out in 1997 after a passenger complex was build according to the high standards of service.
The old tram ring was removed and another one was built near the administrative service structure and western platform for local trains. The new tram ring connects all city tram routs.
The western local platform was reconstructed too.
The newly formed square near the passenger service building has become an integral part of the old railway station square. It revealed the need to reconstruct the building of the local station.
The square is decorated with trees, lawns and flowerbeds, the lamps are made to follow the common architectural style of the ensemble.
For passengers’ comfort there are parking areas for private and official cars and an underground passage. The scheme of express bus and trolley bus service is going to be improved.
Kazan passenger complex is one of the best in Russia according to the standards of service, information and technical support.