Date of Birth: 04/19/1796
Born in Prague, the fourth child of Franz Joseph von Gerstner and his wife Gabriela. His mother died when Franz was 12 years old. He studied at the Prague University, he studied philosophy and engineering. Upon completion of training taught practical geometry and land surveying art at the Vienna Polytechnic Institute.
He tried to implement a project to build a railway between the Vltava and the Danube. To this end, he traveled to England to study to build there the first railways. September 7, 1824 the Austrian Emperor Franz II signed FA Ritter von Gerstner concession for 50 years to build and ekspulatatsii railway between Budvayzom and Mauthausen. In 1825 he married Josephine Marquise von Lambolin, the daughter of a French emigrant. The railway was built in 1832, this time Gestner became famous Austrian engineer, a professor of the Vienna University of Technology.
At the invitation of KV chevkinite on behalf of the Ministry of Mines Gerstner arrived in Russia for a review of mining plants in August 1834. Here he was encouraged by the idea of ??the construction of railways in Russia. He paid three months statistics gathering: has traveled many provinces in central Russia, became acquainted with the way of life, the state of roads, trade and mining. He even made a leveling of the Moscow highway.
On his return to the capital at the beginning of 1835 he submitted a note to the Emperor Nicholas I, in which he outlined his views on the construction of railways:
The note stated that:
... There is no country in the world where railways would be more beneficial and even necessary, than in Russia, as they provide an opportunity to reduce long distance by increasing the speed of movement ... .
- Next asked to lay a railway between St. Petersburg and Moscow, then link
Moscow to Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod, and continue the way further south - to Odessa
A few weeks later a note has already been considered in a special, under the personal chairmanship of the Emperor, the committee unanimously recognized and although undeniably useful device of railways in Russia, but at the same time expressed doubts were different financially. In addition, Gerstner in its offer, among other conditions, require that every railroad, organized in Russia for twenty years without the permission it received the privilege to apply to his property. Therefore, its implementation of the grand plan could then take place; Gerstner had to be satisfied with much less.
In January 1835 FA Gerstner was adopted by Emperor Nicholas I. Gerstner introduced the king plans to build a railway, then he was handed a note Gerstner emperor general manager K. ways F.Tolyu posts, who was present at the meeting. authoritative commission was formed to consider the proposals Gerstner, headed by a prominent statesman MM Speransky. Educated Construction Committee recognized the useful and technically feasible to build a railroad in Russia and FA Gerstner permission was granted for the construction of the Tsarskoye Selo railway. 
Decree of Emperor Nicholas I of the construction of the Tsarskoye Selo railway was released April 15, 1836. 
See also:. Tsarskoye Selo railway # Tsarskoselskaya Construction and operation of the railway #
In November 1836 in a clear but very cold weather at the site between Pavlovsk and Tsarskoye Selo was first tested locomotive Gakvorta. Test drive took place in the presence of Nicholas I and his family and a large number of people from all classes of society. The official opening of the Tsarskoye Selo railway took place October 30, 1837.
In 1838, Gerstner on the instructions of the Russian government went to America to study railways. He conducted extensive research on this issue, and on his return urged to involve the construction of a new railway line, which was to connect the two Russian capitals - St. Petersburg and Moscow, the American experts.
It performs a preliminary reconnaissance of the route of the new road. Gerstner Opinion on attracting American engineers have been called into question, and the emperor sent to Western Europe and the United States two colonels engineers - PP Melnikov and N. O. Kraft to further investigate the problem. The information is completely satisfied with them, they have received only from George. W. Whistler.
Gerstner died in Philadelphia in 1840, and continued to build the Whistler Nikolaev railway.
October 30, 2007 in honor of the 170th anniversary of the Russian and railways in the building of the Vitebsk Station in St Petersburg, a monument to FA Gerstner. Sculpture height of 1.4 meters work SA Shcherbakov shows Gerstner stand tall with the layout of the engine in his hands.
In addition, on the facade of the station installed a memorial plaque dedicated to Gerstner, and opposite the station there is an information stand dedicated to highway construction.