Nikolaevsky Station crowns the extreme eastern end of Nevsky Prospekt, and figures as a prime site of modernity opposite the Winter Palace, St. Isaac's Cathedral, and Peter and Paul Fortress at the western end of Nevsky. Nikolaevsky Station handled traffic to and from Moscow and central Russia and is probably the station from which Anna Karenina, of Lev Tolstoy's novel, made her first fateful trip to Moscow. Behind the passenger station where society ladies rubbed shoulders with workmen and down-and-outs, was a vast shipping complex, just out of view, that handled raw materials, commercial goods and livestock.
Facing Nikolaevsky Station
According to A.A. Bakhtiarov in "Briukho Peterburga,"("The Belly of Petersburg"), Nikolaevsky Station was the point of entry for most of the live cattle that were shipped to Petersburg by rail-- 7, 500 per year.