Open City: the first excursion of the second season
The Tram of Memory charitable excursion, the first one in the new season, was conducted on April 15, 2017 within the frames of the Open City cultural and educational project, with support of its general partner Tricolor TV, the major Russian operator of digital television.
The excursion was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of revival of tram traffic in besieged Leningrad and was organized for veterans and siege survivors by Saint Petersburg City Department of the All-Russian Society for Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments and the Committee on State Control, Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Landmarks with the support of the Government of Saint Petersburg.
During the official part the participants of the excursion, Deputy Chairman of Saint Petersburg City Department of the All-Russian Society for Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments A.E. Ivanov, the city veterans and siege survivors laid flowers to the memorial plaque on the building of the Siege Substation. After that they listened to the eyewitnesses of the launch of the first trams in 1942 and issue-related poems in the museum tram which survived the war.
Soon after the beginning of the siege the electric power supply was terminated and transport options were clamped down. However, as early as in the spring of 1942 Leningrad citizens performed a real feat: they reconstructed electric power supply so tram traffic which helped Leningrad citizens to survive could be finally resumed. The tram was the only kind of transport available for the city residents and it became a symbol of hope for survival and victory.
Traction substation No. 11 «Tsentralnaya» known as the Siege Substation was among the first to supply current to the contact line. In 2016 the building on the Fontanka River embankment (No. 3A) was given the status of a monument of history and culture of regional significance and became one of the addresses immortalizing the deed of the defenders of the blockaded city such as the inscription «During shelling this side of the street is the most insecure» on 14 Nevsky prospect, the siege loudspeaker in Malaya Sadovaya and the blockade ice-hole.
The tradition of gathering at the Siege Substation on commemorative dates originated in the 1980ies with trammers themselves and since the 2000ies this place has been known to all city residents.