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The Epic Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway of Russia

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Nov 29, 2019
A normal train journey is often filled with memories and experiences. What if you were to take an epic journey from Moscow, that ends all the way in Vladivostok? The Trans-Siberian railway is one such romantic journey that is filled with excitement and adventure for an enthusiastic traveler.

The ‘Wow’ Moments of Trans-Siberian Rail Journey

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You will love traveling on the Trans-Siberian train as it journeys through Moscow’s Red Square, Beijing’s Forbidden City, plunge into the icy Lake Baikal or ride along the magnificent steppes of Mongolia.
Travel through the heart of Mother Russia and experience every possible landscape on Earth from the vast dessert to deep forests, high snow covered mountains to deep, icy lakes and rivers via the Trans-Siberian railway.

Interesting Facts About the Trans-Siberian Railway

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The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway line in the world.
It covers 9,289 kilometers from Moscow to Vladivostok, with branches that connect Mongolia, China, and North Korea.
In the late 19th century, Siberia desperately needed better transportation links within the country as well as surrounding regions.
It was Tsar Alexander III of Russia who agreed to the train service from Europe across Asia. This led to the foundation of the Trans-Siberian Railway under the management, and administration of Alexander III son and heir Prince Nikolay (Tsar Nicholas II).
Many foreign companies were interested in funding the project. However, the Tsars were in no mood to accept outside assistance as they wanted complete control of the railroad.
This was a smart move as the Trans-Siberian railway became the most important and profitable link for Russia that carried 30% of its exports annually. Not only did it help local travellers within the country, but also brought in tourists from around the world.
It is estimated 60,000 workers worked on the Trans-Siberian railway that included soldiers, local men, as well as convicts.
The Trans-Siberian railway passes 8 different time zones. However, all across Russia the timetables, station clocks, and train clocks follow Moscow time. However, when you enter Mongolia or China, you need to follow their local time!
The railway systems in Russia and Mongolia follow a different size gauge than China. This means when the train crosses the border into or outside China, all carriages need to be lifted and the bogies changed in order for the train to continue running.
It took 25 years for the Trans-Siberian Railway route to be completed from 1891 until 1916! It became the last grand successful project undertaken by the Russian Empire before the revolution.
The train crosses 16 grand rivers of Russia which include Volga, Kama, Irtysh, Ob, Amur, etc. The highlight of the journey incudes Lake Baikal, the nature wonder of Russia. You can admire this unique lake for about 207 kms during the Trans-Siberian journey.

The 3 Main Routes of Trans-Siberian Railway

  • Trans Manchurian Railway Route via China,
  • Trans-Siberian Railway Route via Russia,
  • Trans Mongolian Railway Route via Mongolia

How Long Does the Journey Take to Complete?

The Trans-Siberian railway route is the longest route which takes a minimum of 7 days and a maximum of 8 days to complete one way.

Do You Need to Complete the Entire Journey in One Go?

No. You do not need to travel through the Trans-Siberian Railway route in one sitting. You can plan your journey and travel towards only a particular destination or break-up the journey by stopping over various destinations. Do make sure you take individual tickets to continue your journey further.

Do You Have a Choice of Berths?

You can travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway in three different sleeper classes:
  • 1st class (spalny vagon),
  • 2nd class (kupe),
  • 3rd class (platskartny vagon)
The 1st and 2nd class are obviously more spacious with lesser berths and both have communal washroom facilities. The 3rd class offers open bunks and is more suitable for local travellers over short distances or budget travellers.

Is Travelling on Trans-Siberian Railway Route Expensive?

Trans-Siberian Railway is quite affordable if you compare it to train travel in Europe. It may not be cheaper than air travel, but gives you a rich experience of the country’s history, culture, mesmerizing views, as well as a chance to meet people from around the world.

The Best Time to Travel on Trans-Siberian Railway Route

You can travel on Trans-Siberian railway all year round; the best seasons being summer and spring. Warmer months mean longer days allowing you to better view of the scenes outside. November to April is the best time to experience the enchanting Russian winter.

Is There Dining Facility Available?

Yes, you can avail a dining facility on the train as food is served in the dining car. The meal is quite basic, and you can always try snacks from local station vendors.

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The epic journey of Trans-Siberian railway of Russia, is sure to leave you with tons of lifelong memories, and a chance to make friends from far and wide. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head out for creating a memorable journey of yours!