View from the Rear Platform of the Simskaia Station of the Samara-Zlatoust Railway


From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural scenes. In September 1909 Prokudin-Gorskii visited Sim Station, located on what was originally called the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad, begun in 1885. Completion of the railroad in 1892 provided access to the national rail system for the Sim Valley and its industry, including Simskii Zavod (Sim Factory), located eight kilometers south of the station. This view of Sim Station was taken from the back platform of the railroad car occupied by Prokudin-Gorskii. The imposing water tower, with its stone shaft and wooden upper structure, shows a solid design typical of this railway. A number of these towers still exist. The station can be seen on the left, while the warehouse shed is on the right. This photograph powerfully evokes a sense of distance, with the track stretching toward a mountain covered in autumn foliage. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Вид с задней площадки у ст. Симская Сам.-Злат ж. д.

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)


  • Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at

Last updated: September 28, 2016