Miller's line

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Miller's railway
Russian: Железная дорога Миллера
Miller's pier in 1913.jpg
The railway and station on the sea coast at Miller's pier
Type Heavy rail
System Commuter passenger railway
Status Local
Locale Sestroretsk, Russia
Termini Sestroretsk
Beloostrov, Miller's pier
Stations 3
Services Sestroretsk – Beloostrov
Sestroretsk – Miller's pier
Opened 1873
Closed 1886
Owner Societies of the Sestroretsk railway
Operator(s) Societies of the Sestroretsk railway
Character Michael Ivanovich Miller
Rolling stock Leased from Finnish railways
Line length 9.5 km (5.90 mi)
Track gauge 1,524 mm (5 ft)
Route map
Societies of the Sestroretsk railway,
Miller's line (1873-1886)
0,0 Vyborg line
Up arrow Vyborg
Up arrow Zelenogorsk
Up arrow Solnechnoye
5.9 Sestra crossover
6.6 Beloostrov
0,0 Vyborg line
Down arrow Finlyandsky Rail Term.
Down arrow Lanskaya
Down arrow Pesochny
Sestra river
1.8 Trackside 1871-1886
0,0 SPb-Sestr.-Beloostrov
Down arrow Kurort
Planned ferry line
2.9 Miller's pierGulf of Finland
0,0 Trackside
0,0 SPb-Sestr.-Beloostrov
Up arrow Kurort
2.2 Sestroretsky kurort
0.5 Factory bridgeZav. s.
0.0 Sestroretsk stationSestroretsk (1871-1924)
Sestroretsk armory
lake Rasliw
0,0 planned trackside
Vodoslivnoy channel
1.7 Sestroretsk
1.7 Line Dubki horse-iron road
Right arrow Sestroretsk armory (1847-before 1870)
Left arrow Dubkovsky pier
2.1 Liteyny bridge
3.5 Razliv
line SPb-Sestr.-Beloostrov
Down arrow Finlyandsky Rail Term.
Down arrow Novaya derevnya
Down arrow Tarkhovka
5.7 Tarkhovka pier
Ships to Saint Petersburg(Gulf of Finland)
Distances in kilometers
Miller's line railroad line includes Sestroretsk spur line
Societies of the Sestroretsk railway
Russian: частное "Общество Сестрорецкой железной дороги"
Miller Pier in 1900s.jpg
Miller's pier railway station
Locale Sestroretsk, Russia
Dates of operation 1873–1886
Predecessor Finnish railways
Successor Primorskaya railroad,
Zavodskaya line
Track gauge 1,524 mm (5 ft)
Length 9.5 km
Headquarters Sestroretsk

Miller's line was a passenger railway line in Russia from 1873 to 1886, run by the Finnish Railways. The line ran from Beloostrov to Sestroretsk, and was the site of the world's first functional electric railway.


The private organisation Societies of the Sestroretsk Railway was established to control the railway, headed by Collegiate Assessor Moritz von-Dezen and Titular counsellor Michael Ivanovich Miller. It had been built for the military as the Sestroretsk spur line.

There were plans to build a station three versts (approximately three kilometres) from Sestroretsk, on the bank of Sestroretsk Bay, and also an additional branch line to the Tarhovsky pier, where an operational station already existed.[1]

Experiments with electrification[edit]

In 1875, on an area between Miller's pier and Sestroretsk rail station, the engineer Fyodor Pirotsky experimented on the adaptation of rail transport to be driven by an electrogalvanic cell. These experiments later led to a patent "For an electric way of transfer of forces on rail and other conductors", that is, for the creation of the first electric tram.

The experimental area consisted of a site with an extent of 3½ versts (3.73 km), which passed along the sand of beach for a large part of its length,[1] with rail cars travelling distances of over one kilometre.

The system used the rails as conductors for electricity transmission; one rail carried the direct current, and the second rail functioned as a return wire. After establishing the necessary connections on the joints between the rails, the transmission of electricity was successfully carried out.

Pirotsky stated that current leakage to the earth was not appreciable, and the transfer efficiency was calculated to be acceptable. Expenses for the adaptation of existing railways to electricity transmission were determined to be insignificant – from 50 to 100 roubles per verst.[1]


In 1877 the line operated four pairs of trains. They primarily served residents during the summer period, while in the winter they were only used by officials.

The recorded volume of patronage was very insignificant because of a disputed tariff policy of Finnish railways, and ultimately the Miller's pier station was left idle.[1] As a result, the operators appeared to be in a disastrous financial position, and the majority of the proposed plans were left incomplete.

By the mid-1880s the Society of the Sestroretsk railway was definitively ruined, and on January 1, 1886, the railway was closed.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Chepurin, Sergey; Arkady Nikolayenko (May 2007). "Sestroretsk and Primorskaya railways(Сестрорецкая и Приморская железные дороги)" (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-02-21.  External link in |publisher= (help)