This is the only daily steam retro train that operates in Karelia Republic between
the cities of Sortavala and the most striking place of the Northern Ladoga region – the Ruskeala Mountain Park.
The only one in Russia
The Ruskeala Express – this is the only regular passenger steam retro train in
Russia. The train consists of 5 cars including the restaurant car. The first train was
launched on 1 June 2019
The last regular passenger steam train was running in the late 1970s
In 1818, the Russian Emperor Alexander I appointed a young ambitious French
architect Auguste de Montferrand to the post of chief architect of the new St.
Isaac's Cathedral.
Montferrand has been looking for building and facing material for the
reconstruction of St. Isaac's Cathedral for several years. Part of the marble was
found by the chief architect on the islands not far from Valaam Island, part of it
abroad, and three species in the Ruskeala.
The French architect comes to Ruskeala in a richly designed carriage twice: in
1820 and 1821 Montferrand liked the marble in these places very much, but there
was a problem with its transportation. The thing is the marble from the islands
was transported by ships along Ladoga and further along the Neva to the capital
directly, but from Ruskeala which is about 40 km far from Ladoga, transportation
remained a challenge. The valuable stone was transported in carts down the
broken roads.
Then an experienced architect said: "A cast-iron road should be built to Serdobol
(Sortavala), and the train routes should be launched".

Auguste de Montferrand
The chief architect of the St. Isaac's Cathedral
By the way, the modern train route from Sortavala to Ruskeala runs along the
land road which used to deliver the Ruskeala marble to Lake Ladoga
His words are not accidental, at that time in the UK railways were already being built, and in Russia there were no specialists and technologies at that time.
Almost 200 years later, the ideas of the talented architect have been brought to life.

The Ruskeala Express connected the shores of Lake Ladoga with the Ruskeala marble deposits. The Ruskeala Express interior is decorated like the carriage on which Auguste de Montferrand came to Ruskeala.
Train schedule
The train operates every day. Journey time is 1 hour.

Sortavala 10:40 – 11:50 Ruskeala Mountain Park
Ruskeala Mountain Park 17:30 – 18:30 Sortavala

The train schedule is made bearing in mind the fast train "Lastochka" from Saint-Petersburg to Sortavala.
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