down the longest railroad in the world is a unique experience: you
will cross the whole Eurasia from west to east, pass through poorly
inhabited planes of Siberia, and cross the great Russian rivers
– Volga, Irtish, Ob, and Yenisei.
will see Baikal — the deepest lake in the world, and travel
down the Round-Baikal Railroad which is a masterpiece of road construction
— built in the end of 19 century, it costed more than any
other Russian railway. It became one of the most famous railroad
constructions. In fact, 90 km of it contains 38 tunnels, numerous
galleries, bridges and viaducts.
Packed with excursions, this trip will give you an insight into
Russian history: the cities you visit on your way witnessed many
dramatic events during the last several centuries.
And, above all, traveling by long-distance train is rather an experience
by itself —Russian enthusiasts of railway traveling especially
value it because it gives many opportunities to meet people and
talk to them.
if you really wish to learn about Russia and Russians, this tour
is the option you should think about — and when you come home
you will be able to answer whether bears are still wandering Siberian
Transsib, Trans-Siberian way (contemporary names) or Great Siberian
Way (historical name) is an excellent equipped rail-track, going
through all continent, connecting European Russia, with its largest
industrial areas and the capital Moscow with the middle (Siberia)
and eastern (Far East) areas. This railway connects Russia, which
is a country laying through 11 time zones, in unified economic body.
If it wasn't built in due time Russia would probability not keep
the Far East and Pacific ocean coast for itself - as it couldn't
keep Alaska not connected with Russian Empire by stable means of
communication. Also Transsib is the way that stimulated the development
of eastern areas and involved them in economic life of the rest
of the huge country.
Some people think that it's necessary to explain the term "Transsib"
as the way connecting Ural and Far East and literally passing "via"
Siberia (Trans-Siberian). But the name was given by English nicknamed
the way not as "Great Siberian Way" as literally translation
from Russian was to be but as "Trans-Siberian Railway"
which later instilled and took root in speech.
And now "Transsib" has a meaning as way connecting Center
and Pacific Ocean, Moscow and Vladivostok, and a little broader
as way connecting ports on the West, the capital of Russia, and
also the outlets to Europe (Moscow, St-Petersburg, Brest, Kaliningrad)
with ports on the East and the outlets to Asia (Vladivostok, Nakhodka,
The length of Transsib.
Actual length of Trans-Siberian railway by the main passenger way
(from Moscow to Vladivostok) is 9288,2 km and by this indicator
it's the longest railway on the planet running across almost all
Eurasia by land. Tariff length (cost of tickets is calculated by
it) is a little longer - 9298 km and doesn't coincide with the real
one. There some cargo detour lines at various sections. The width
of Transsib's is 1520 mm.
The length of Great Siberian Way prior to the First World War from
St-Petersburg to Vladivostok by northern passenger way (via Vologda
- Perm - Yeakaterinburg - Omsk - Chita - Harbin) was 8913 versts
or 9508 km.
Transsib passes through territories of two parts of the world: Europe
(0 - 1777th km) and Asia (1778th - 9289th km). 19.1% of Transsib
length is in Europe and 80.9% of the length is in Asia.
Today Transsib begins at Yaroslavskiy terminal in Moscow, and ends
at Vladivostok terminal.
But it wasn't always like that: up to the midle of the 1920th the
gateway to Siberia and to Far East was Kazanskiy (then Ryazanskiy)
terminals and in the earliest period of Transsib existence (the
beginning of 20 century) it was Kursko-Nizhegorodskiy (now Kurskiy)
terminal in Moscow.
the revolution in 1917 the beginning point of Great Siberian Way
was Moscovskiy terminal in St-Petersburg, the capital of Russian
Empire. Also Vladivostok not always was the end: for the brief time
period from the end of the 1890th up to main ground battles of Russian-Japanese
war in 1904-05 Great Siberian Way ended at marine fortress and city
Port-Arthur located at the coastline of East Chinese sea on Chinese
route of Transsib.
1956 Transsib route is: Moscow-Yaroslavskaya - Yaroslavl-Main
- Danilov - Bui - Shar'ya - Kirov - Balezino - Perm-2 - Sverdlovsk-Passenger
(Yekaterinburg) - Tyumen - Nazyvaevskaya - Omsk-Passenger -
Barabinsk - Novosibirsk-Main - Mariinsk - Achinsk-1 - Krasnoyarsk
- Ilanskaya - Taishet - Nizhneudinsk - Zima - Irkutsk-Passenger
- Slyudyanka-1 - Ulan-Ude - Petrovskiy Zavod - Chita-2 - Karymskaya
- Chernyshevsk-Zabaikalskiy - Mogocha - Skovorodino -
- Arkhara - Khabarovsk-1 - Vyazemskaya - Ruzhino - Ussuriisk
- Vladivostok. This is the main passenger route of Transsib.
It was established in the beginning of the thirties when regular
operation of Chinese Eastern line became impossible due to
the war-political causes and South Uralian way was too overloaded
because of the USSR industrialization that began at that moment.
1949 in Baikal area the main way of Transsib passed by Circum-Baikal
railway: via Irkutsk - along Angara river - Baikal station
- along Baikal shore - to Slyudyanka station; in 1949-56 two
routes functioned: old one along Baikal shore and new mountain
pass one. Moreover passing route first was built in 1-track
version (1941-1948) but it became 2-tracks by 1957.
Since June 10, 2001, with the new summer shedule, almost all
long-distance Trans-Siberian trains went by new route via
Vladimir - Gorky with way out to "classical way"
in Kotelnich. This way allows trains to go with higher speed.
rivers and lakes on the way.
Transsib passes through the territories of 13 regions, 4 territories,
2 republics, 1 autonomous region and 1 autonomous district of Russian
Federation and 87 town are situated at it.
Transsib crosses 16 large rivers: Volga, Vyatka, Kama, Tobol, Irtysh,
Ob, Tom, Chulym, Yenisei, Oka, Selenga, Zeya, Bureya, Amur, Khor,
Ussuri; over 207 km it passes along Baikal lake and over 39 km by
the shore of Amursky Bay of Japanese Sea.
trains. The most comfortable and fast trains at Transsib
are superior trains number 1/2 "Rossiya" (Moscow - Vladivostok),
5/6 "Okean" (Khabarovsk - Vladivostok), 9/10 "Baikal"
(Moscow - Irkutsk), 25/26 "Sibiryak" (Moscow - Novosibirsk),
55/56 "Yenisei" (Moscow - Krasnoyarsk) and a few more
trains of this class. They go by their route with fewer stops, sometimes
none for 300-400 km, do not have sitting carriages and often do
not have carriages with platskart seats. Their carriages are German
made, new, with air-conditioners. The cost is higher then in other
trains. People going there are rather impressive, there are many
foreigners particularly in summer.
trains - number 3/4 (Moscow - Beijing via Mongolia), 5/6
(Moscow - Ulan-Bataar), 19/20 (Moscow - Beijing via Manchuria) going
to Mongolia and China before used to be rather comfortable, but
now lost their status, since they turned in favorite means of travel
of Russian and Chinese "shuttles". So during stops of
such trains at Uralian and Siberian station you can see the crowds
of peoplea at the platform that are feverishly making process of
trade during the 15-20 minutes assigned by schedule for replacement
of locomotive. So the carriages naturally are all packed by "shuttle"
goods (travelling in compartment of such train is rather non-comfortable,
believe me). Perhaps one must go in SV carriage which is quite expensive
for shuttles... But there are no another options if you want to
go to China and Mongolia by train.
fast trains - typical examples are number 7/8 (Novosibirsk
- Vladivostok), 43/44 (Moscow - Khabarovsk), 11/12 (Chelyabinsk
- Chita) differ from "bad" by quality of service of the
crew and carriages condition (those are not in bad shape or too
old. Costs of fast train are lower then superior and often "good"
fast train are a good alternative to the superior ones. As a rule
fast train has more stops, particularly in the region (territory)
of its origin. Always it has at least 1-2 carriages with platskart
seats or more. People in them are more ordinary, there are only
few foreigners in "Rossiya" (excluding Chinese and citizen
of CIS states).
fast and passenger trains - outstanding instances - number
53/54 (Kharkov - Vladivostok) and 249/250 (Moscow - Blagoveshchensk).
There are quite a few such trains on railways. Their distinctive
features are unattractive appearance and interior (carriages are
old or filthy), "quality" of service by attendants and
dirt. Passenger trains are cheapest, their schedule is made with
bigger number of stops and more than a half of train are carriages
with platskart seats or sitting. But there are some exceptions -
sometimes passenger trains are rather good.
of trains (as marked on your ticket):
F - superior (firmenniy)
S - fast (skoriy)
P - passenger
PB - mail-luggage
of carriages (as marked on your ticket):
SV, L -
sleeping-car, 16-18 seats (1st class, compartment for 2 pax)
KP - compartment car, 36 seats (2nd class, compartment for 4 pax)
PL - carriage with platskart seats, 54 seats (3rd class, no compartments,
open area with the beds)
O - carriage with sitting seats, 81 seats
1 - 99:
101 - 156: fast summer
157 - 170: high-speed
171 - 299: passenger
301 - 399: passenger summer
401 - 599: single function
601 - 699: local
801 - 899: tourist
901 - 948: mail-luggage
951 - 968: cargo-passenger (by tickets)
971 - 998: cargo (by cargo documents)