NAZAROVA E.I. To the History of Private Railway Construction in Russia in the 1860-1870s


Elena I. Nazarova

Postgraduate Student,

Institute of History, Saint Petersburg State University;

Teacher of History and Social Studies, School No. 123,

Vyborg District of Saint Petersburg,

Aleksandra Matrosova St., 11A, 194100 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract. This paper is devoted to the problem of alienation of real estate for the construction of railways in Russia in the 1860-1870s, when there was the first railway ‘boom’ in the country. The process of transferring real estate from private ownership to the railway companies caused a number of difficulties not only in Russia but also in the majority of European countries, which constructed railways in the 19th century. Despite the extensive historiography of the rail transport, the issue of the alienation of private lands remains insufficiently studied. This research contains the results of complex analysis of the Russian legislation of the indicated period, devoted to the right to real estate and regulating the process of lands alienation for the state needs. The analysis of legislation let revealing the legal framework of alienation of state and private lands, as well as the peculiarities of peasants’ property alienation process. It is shown that despite the government’s attempts to regulate the process, it was often accompanied by conflicts between railway companies and the real estate owners. We consider the specific examples of real estate alienation from people of different social classes.

The Russian government tried to restore order in the process of real estate alienation for the railway construction. Nevertheless, the process was characterized by a number of disadvantages: the administrative procedure for real estate alienation; indefinite terms for payment of compensation to proprietors; unclear wording in the law. All this led to the fact that the process of property valuation had been sometimes delayed for decades.

Key words: railway, private railway company, expropriation of real estate, alienation of land, disposition of property.

Citation. Nazarova E.I. To the History of Private Railway Construction in Russia in the 1860-1870s. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 51-61. (in Russian). DOI:

Лицензия Creative Commons

To the History of Private Railway Construction in Russia in the 1860-1870s by Nazarova E.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Download this file (3_Nazarova.pmd.pdf) 3_Nazarova.pmd.pdf