RAILWAY MAIL UNDER THE RUSSIAN CZARS: CONTINUED



So, also a main line was the line from Werzbolowo - Kaunas - Vilnius



On 28 April 1861 the first section was opened: ВЕРЖБОЛОВО (Werzbolowo, the Lithuanian Virbalis) via Kazlu Ruda to КОВНА (KOVNA), the Lithuanian Kaunas. Via Eydtkuhnen-Königsberg (East-Prussia) the line continued to Berlin and further westward.
On 9 May 1862 this line is extended via КОШЕДАЩЫ (KOSHEDARY), the Lithuanian Kaišiadorys) to ВИЛЬНА (WILNA), the Lithuanian Vilnius. In Vilnius this line is connected with the mainline from St. Petersburg - ДВИНСКЪ (DWINSK, the Latvian: Daugavpils) - Vilnius - Warsaw. This last line to Warsaw is 15 december 1862 officially opened.

On the line from Vilnius in the direction st. Peterburg was situated one important place on -now- Lithuanian area: Novo-Svencjany:















Card with the postmark of the railway-postoffice НОВО-СВЕНЦЯНЫ (NOVO-SVENTSYANY), in the Lithuanian Švenčionėliai.
ВОКЗ. = ВОКЗАЛЪ (VOKZAL) = station.


Original print size of this image: 14,182 x 9,153 cm (is something more as the postal item)
This picture and all pictures below on this page, if not mentioned otherwise: scanned about 300 dpi. Then set right and cut out - noted the actual print size-, resized 25 % of this image and saved as jpg.

The postmark, resized 50 %.









Picture of the railway station of Muravjevo, sent by Mr. Eugenijus Uspuras.


From Vilnius direction Kaunas there was an branch to the port town ЛИБАВА (LIBAVA), in the present Latvia: Liepaja.
On 4 September 1871 take place the opening of the line ЛИБАВА (LIBAVA) Liepaja - Mazeikiai - Radviliskis - КОШЕДАЩЫ (KOSHEDARY), the Lithuanian Kaišiadorys.
The railway from Libava via Mazeikiai (other names: Moshjeiki or Muravjevo) and Vilno to Minsk and Romni was taken in use between 1871-1874 by the Libava-Romni Railway Company.
TPO's on this line were No. 45 and 46 and the early postmarks are the single-circle postmarks with indication of both routes, 45 and return 46. This type you can find in the period 1873-1880. The type with one postal wagon-number is used between 1879 and 1894.
Also every station on the route had a number, indicated in the postmarks to 1881.


On this card -illustration from article in HBG (black/white)- you see the postmark of route no. 46. The card is delivered to postal wagon 46 on 20 July 1879
Original print size of this image: 12,835 x 9,203 cm (is something more as the postal item)

Ruud van Wijnen gives a - provisional- list of the station-numbers on the line from Libava, in government Courland, now in Latvia:
1 = ЛИБАhА LIBAVA / Libau / Liepāja
2 = ГАВЕЗЕНЪ GAVEZEN / Gavesen / Gavieze
3 = ПЛЕЙКЕ PLEIKE / Paplaka
4 = ПРЕКУЛНЪ PREKULN / Priekule
5 = ВАЙНОДЕНЪ VAINODEN / Vainode
In government Kovno, now in Lithuania:
6 = ЛУША LUSHA / Luscha / Luša
7 = ВЕНТА VENTA
8 = МУРАВЬВО MURAVEVO / Muravjevo / Mažeikiai
9 = КУШАНЫ KURSHANY / Kurschenen / Kuš&$279nai
10 = ШАВЛИ SHAVLI / Schaulen / Šiauliai
Sometimes numbers of stations changed, or even reversed.


The card is delevired on the railway station to the postal wagon 46. In the postmark you can conclude that "Moscheyky" is the 8th station on the line.
The postmark, resized 50 %.




The message -in German: 'Moscheyky, 19 Juli' on the card to Danzig.










In КОШЕДАЩЫ (KOSHEDARY), the Lithuanian Kaišiadorys, something east from Kaunas, the line was connected with the line Vilnius - Kaunas - Virbalis. From ВИЛЬНА (WILNA), Vilnius thus, the line there was also a line to МИНСКЪ (MINSK).
Here we see a card with the postmark of the line ЛИБАВА (LIBAVA) - МИНСКЪ (MINSK), with the arrival-postmark of КОВНА (KOVNA), Kaunas in Lithuanian.
Original print size of this image: 14,080 x 9,229 cm (is something more as the postal item)


The postmark, resized 50 %.
The number of the line, in the top of the postmark, is not clearly, but must be '46'.




Thus Kaunas was not situated on this line, and coming from РАДЗИВИЛИШКИ (RADZIVILISHKI), the Lithuanian Radviliškis, it was necessary to turned in КОШЕДАЩЫ (KOSHEDARY), the Lithuanian Kaišiadorys, to reach Kaunas.
This was not easy, because Kaunas became more important, also as military fortress. During the German occupation in World War I
the Germans constructed very soon a little cutting section (between Gaižiūnai and Palemonas), by which Kaunas was connected also direct with the line to ЛИБАВА (LIBAVA), the Latvian Liepaja











WILNO (VILNIUS) AS JUNCTION: THE ROUTE TO ROVNO

On the map above we see also the line from ВИЛЬНО (WILNO), Vilnius, to РОВНО (ROVNO). On this route postal wagon 111 travelled between 1891 and 1915, and so postal wagon 112 in the opposite direction. In 1883 the railway from Vilnius to Lida in the south (now in the north of Byelorussia). From thre the line goes further south to Baranovici and Rovno. Rovno was far to the south.
Postcard to БАКУ (BAKU) with the postmark of route 111.
Original print size of this image: 14,055 x 9,127 cm (is something more as the postal item)
The postmark, resized 50 %:







Part of the backside, resized 50 %:
Card to Riga, arrived 18-5-1906, with the postmark of the opposite direction, РОВНО (ROVNO) 112 ВИЛЬНО (WILNO).
The text on the other side is difficult to read, bur you can see that it is from Wilna, written 16 May 1906.
Original print size of this image: 14,385 x 9,229 cm (is something more as the postal item)


The postmark, resized 50 %:










THE CONNECTION WITH RIGA


From МОЖЕИКИ (MOZHEIKI), the Lithuanian Mažeikiai in Northern Lithuania there was also a branch to Riga. So Muravjevo / Mažeikiai became a very important place for the railways.
The Libava-Romni Railway Company had its own railway station in Muravjevo for the line Libava-Vilno-Minsk-Romni. The line from Riga to Muravjevo was built by another company, with Muravjevo II as own railway station. Passenger trains from Riga arrived on a top-platorm of Muravjevo I, the station of the Libava-Romni line. Through trains could -if necessary- via a short connexion further on the Libava-Romni line.

Postal wagons 85 and 86 served on the line Riga-Muravjevo the whole period from november 1878, first Riga to Mozheyki, and in from 1900 to Muravevo. On 18-4-1913 this postal route changed to Riga - Libava. Here below we see a letter with an older type railway postmark of railway-post route 85 (TPO 85):
Original print size of this image: 14,690 x 8,213 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The postmark, resized 50 %.

A system of route-numbers is introduced short before the Railway Post Department was established in 1869. The oldest postmarks are circle-postmarks with the name of the route.The later postmarks are circle-postmarks with the indication ПОЧТОВЫИ ВАГОНЪ (POCHTOVYI VAGON) (post-wagon) and the number of the post-wagon (route) (e.g. '85-86', in which 85 stays for the voyage out and 86 for return trip. The oldest postmarks have also next of the day of the date (three lines, month in cyrillic characters) as indication the number of the station, where the post was collected. Muravjevo was number '9' on the route. It was not so easy inserting an other number on every station, and in 1881 it was abolished. At the bottom in the postmark the number of the cancel itself was set.
The type with the indication of both directions (85-86) was used to ca. 1881.

A newer (earliest date 25-8-1982, latest 8-9-1905) type we see on the letter alongside. This postmark has one number to indicate the direction of the route, the date in three lines and the (serial)number of the cancel itself (at the bottom).

ПОЧТОВЫИ ВАГОНЪ = postwagon 85 was used for:
РИГА-МОЖЕИКИ(RIGA -MOZHEIKI) (existed in november 1878)
РИГА-МУРАВЬЕВО (RIGA-MURAVEVO) (existed in 1900) : after introducion of the oval railway postmarks (3 february 1903) also as oval postmark with left and right the places, at the top *85* )
MURAVEVO is the new name for the same place.
РИГА-ЛИБАВА (RIGA-LIBAVA): oval postmark with left and right the places, at the top *85*(changing destination on 18-4-1913)

For the way back No. 86 is used.







Here below a card with an oval postmark of route 86.

In the postmark we recognize МУРАВЬЕВО (MURAVEVO), the new name for МОЖЕИКИ(MOZHEIKI).

Original print size of this image: 14,283 x 9,127 cm (is something more as the postal item) The postmark, resized 50%.


















Michail Nikolajevitsj Muravjev was a governer-general of Lithuania and oppressed the uprisings of 1860. The Russians were very proud and give his name to the town MOZHEIKI.
He even had in Vilnius a museum and a statue, that you can see on the card here.

Original print size of this image: 14,003 x 8,974 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The card is used during the German occupation as fieldpost in World War I, but at that time the monument was taken away by the Russians.




Literature about Muravjevo:



ROUTE 9 - 10

Also there was a railway from РАДЗИВИЛИШКИ (RADZIVILISHKI) to ДВИНСКЪ (DVINSK) on the main line St. Petersburg-Warsaw.
Between Kalkuni (near Dvinsk) and Radzivilishki unnumbered postal wagons were used in the period 1874-1878.
Then numbered postal wagons -9 and 10- were used.
In 'Russian Railway Postmarks' A.V. Kiryushin and P.E. Robinson give an overview of the postal route 9-10:
Direction route 9:

In the above mentioned book we find also an overview of the postmarks of the numbered TPO-route 9-10
TypeDates reported
Type 1, circle-postmark,
with both directions 9 and 10 mentioned,
the code of the station aside
the day of the date,
three lines date with month in cyrillic
  • serial (1) >> 10.4.1872 and 11.1.1881
  • serial (2) >> 25.12.70 and 1.1.80
  • serial (3) >> 13.9.69 and 12.6.70
  • serial(4) >> 2.3.74 and 25.8.75
  • serial (5) >> 8.9.75
  • serial (6) >> 3.9.74
  • serial (7) >> 12.8.75
  • serial (8) >> 25.10.77
  • Type 2, circle postmark, no code of the station, three lines date with month in cyrillic, one direction indicated in the postmarkRoute 9:
  • serial 4 >> 16.6.89


  • Route 10:
  • serial 1 >> 18.12.86 and 27.1.90
  • Type 3, oval postmark, see card here aside Route 9: DVINSK 9 RADZIVILISHKI
  • serial b >> 24.7.11 and 6.1.15


  • Route10:
  • serial on RIGA 10
    D(VINSK) >> 18.10.10
  • serial a on RADZIVILISHKI 10 DVINSK >> 3.9.14 and 12.3.15





  • Card, fieldpost, to Pskow. Postmark of the 28th Fielde Reserve Hospital ans a railway postmark of РАДЗИВИЛИШКИ (RADZIVILISHKI)
    Original print size of this image: 13,826 x 8,898 cm (is something more as the postal item)



    The postmark, resized 50 %.
    Other side of the card: picture of Panevezys. On the map on the top of this page, you can see that this place is located on the line between DVINSK and RADZIVILISHKI.

















    OTHER POSTAL RAILWAY ROUTES IN TSARISTIC LITHUANIA

    The line from НОВО-СВЕНЦЯНЫ (NOVO-SVENTSYANY), the Lithuanian Švenčionėliai, to ПОСТВЫ(POSTAVY, now in Russia), was the first narrow gauge (750 mm) railway in Lithuania.
    From ПОСТВЫ(POSTAVY) the line continued to БЕРЕСВЕЧ (BERESWECH), now in Beylorussia.
    THe line was finished in 1895, and two years later was started with the extension of the line -also narrow gauge- to the west via Utena and Anyksiai to ПОНЕВЬЖЪ (PONEVZH), in Lithuanian Panevėžys, finished 1899.
    On this line we find also a postal wagon, no. 201:

    And of course number 214 for the opposite direction. Olita is the Lithuanian Alytys, Orany is the Lithuanian Varėna.



    STATION-POSTOFFICE VILNIUS - DESTRUCTION-POSTMARK

    Card from Vilnius to Kaunas, 1908.


    Original print size of this image: 13,826 x 8,974 cm (is something more as the postal item)

    On the postmark we see:
    ВИЛЬНА (WILNA), Vilnius and ВОКЗАЛЪ (VOKZAL) = station


    We have to do with the stationpost-office of Vilnius. In the book "Russian Railway Postmarks" (p. 176) is mentioned a list of stations with "VOKZAL", which in spite of that did not fall under the railway mail. This post-office did not fall under the railway mail -as the most station-post-offices- , but under the Post Department. In the postmark the station-post-office used the German name Wilna, instead of the Polish Wilno.
    On the frontside we see a picture of the railway-station of Vilnius (?):








    The postmark, resized 50 %.
















    Below a card with the postmark of the railway-postoffice, late used, in 1917, when Vilnius was occupied by the German:

    Original print size of this image: 13,953 x 8,644 cm (is something more as the postal item)
















    Also here the other side is nice to see.











    On 16 October 1908 circular nr. 75 of the Post and Telegraph Department came out with the announcement of special postmarks. These postmarks really punctured the stamps and they were intended to be used for moneytransfer-forms and pakket-labels. For letters and cards these postmarks were not suited, because then the contents would be damaged. In the great cities double-ring-postmarks provided with pins were used for this. The intention was of course opposing of re-use of postage stamps with high values. As time goes on points were used instead of pins for the possibilty to use them also for letters and cards.
    Here we see such a point-postmark on this card from Vilnius.
    Postcard (Mi. nr. 67) from Vilnius, 22 may 1910 to Halle, with postmark WILNA-VOKSAL and a 20 points-postmark.
    Original print size of this image: 14,283 x 9,685 cm (is something more as the postal item)


    The postmark, resized 50 %.






    On the postcard -no imprinted stamp- we don't see the state arms. It is a private printed postcard. Till 1894 this was a state monopoly, after that the printing of postcards was allowed also to others. This permission were used mainly for printing picture postcards. The Post Office of the state continued printing of postcards, but placed then the state arms left at the top.
    The first Russian postal stationery, a postcard with imprinted stamp, maked one's appearance on 1 January 1872.
    Until 1909 the text "OTK...", that means "open letter" stays at the top. With the postal laws of 1909 this became the right name "postcard".
    With the introduction of the postcard, 1 January 1872, also new postal rates were introduced for the most kinds of mail.


    Literature: