The rails.


Trans Siberian Railway, the longest in the world


General Information

Going 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.

You 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.

So, 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 streets…

What is Transsib?

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, Vanino, Zabaikalsk).

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.

Bbefore 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 Lyaodun peninsula.

Contemporary route of Transsib.

From 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 -

Belogorsk - 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.

Until 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.

Cities, 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 along Transsib.

Superior 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.

International 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.

"Good" 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).

"Bad" 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.

Types of trains (as marked on your ticket):

F - superior (firmenniy)
S - fast (skoriy)
P - passenger
PB - mail-luggage

Classes 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

Numbering of trains:

1 - 99: fast
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)

General information
Food on the train
History of Transsib
Information about the cities
Activities in the cities


Novosibirsk - Irkutsk - Ulan Ude - Vladivostok.
Moskow - Yekaterinburg - Irkutsk - Vladivostok.
Moskow - Yekaterinburg - Irkutsk - Vladivostok Extended.
Moscow Irkutsk Beijing.
Moskow - Irkutsk - Beijing Extended.
Moskow - Irkutsk - Ulaan Baatar.



Novosibirsk - Irkutsk - Ulan Ude - Vladivostok.

Moskow - Yekaterinburg - Irkutsk - Vladivostok.
Moskow - Yekaterinburg - Irkutsk - Vladivostok Extended.
Moscow Irkutsk Beijing.
Moskow - Irkutsk - Beijing Extended.
Moskow - Irkutsk - Ulaan Baatar.


Novosibirsk - Irkutsk - Ulan Ude - Vladivostok.
Moskow - Yekaterinburg - Irkutsk - Vladivostok.
Moscow Irkutsk Beijing.
Moskow - Irkutsk - Beijing Extended.
Moskow - Irkutsk - Ulaan Baatar.



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