50 Rare Photos That Show the Building of the Pskov-Riga (Russian Empire) Railway in the 19th Century

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The building of the Pskov-Riga Railway with its branch line from Valga to Tartu started on the initiative of the Russian Ministry of War in 1886. Most of the buildings on the railway were constructed based on standard plans, thus they look indistinguishably similar.

The construction of the railway line was finished and opened for transport in 1889. The largest junction of the line was in Valga, where also the main depot and workshops were situated.

These photographs from National Archives of Estonia mostly originate from a 50 page large-format album by the photographers Hugo Hoffers and Peter Sohnwald, both of whom had worked in Tartu as well as Riga.

Railway bridge over the Velikaya River (Riga Bridge), construction of the pillars, August 26, 1886

Railway bridge over the Laatre River, September 25, 1887

Railway bridge over the Rauna River, after the end of construction, September 24, 1887

Railway bridge over the Rauna River, construction of the pillars, 1887

Railway bridge over the Väike Emajõgi River during construction, September 1, 1887

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