Trans Siberian Railroad Facts

The Trans Siberian Railroad, the longest railroad in the world, lets you travel over a third of the way around the world by train. The trip crosses almost the entire country of Russia, passing through diverse landscapes, with other branches extending to Mongolia and China.

  1. Geography

    • The Trans Siberian Railroad stretches 9288.2 kilometers (5771.4 miles) across Russia, starting in Moscow on the west side of the country, and ending at the Pacific Ocean in the east in the city of Vladivostok. Along the way, you will pass rivers, 87 towns, the Sea of Japan, and the deepest lake on Earth, Bakail. You may spend a lot of time resetting your watch, as the trip will take you through 10 time zones.

    History

    • Inspired by the success of the Transcontinental Railroad in the United States, construction on the Trans Siberian Railroad started in 1891 from plans designed by Czar Alexander III. The first branch opened for business in 1896, and the railroad was finally completed in 1916. Before the construction of the railroad, traveling across Russia could take almost a year, so its completion sped up trade, helped the country's economy, and encouraged people to settle in new parts of the country.

    Schedule

    • On odd numbered days (for example, June 1st), the "Rossiya" train begins the trip from Moscow headed east, and arrives in Vladivostok about seven days later. The westbound trains leave Vladivostok for Moscow on even numbered days (June 2nd, for example). Other trains travel only parts of the route, such as one which travels from Moscow to Ulan-Batar, and then returns to Moscow. The trains make several stops each day, each lasting about five to 20 minutes.

    On Board

    • There are three categories of travel on the Trans Siberian Railroad. The equivalent of first class is called a sleeping cabin, the middle class is called a cupe, and platzcart is the cheapest option, where you sleep in open-plan bunks. Each cabin has its own bathroom, and each train carriage has a restaurant serving the food of the country you are traveling through, and a conductor to keep things running smoothly.

    Branches

    • In addition to the main Trans Siberian line, the railroad branches off into two other paths. The Trans-Mongolian route breaks away from the main line just past the city of Ulan-Ude, and travels south to Beijing, China, passing through the country of Mongolia on the way. The Trans-Manchurian route breaks away around Tarskaya, Russia, and also continues down to China, ending in Beijing. The fourth line, the Baikal Amur Mainline, leaves the main line at Taishet and runs to Sovetskaya Gavan on the Pacific Ocean.

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