The Trans Siberian Railway
Trans-Manchurian Route Classes of travel Costs Tickets Visas Travel Agencies Recommended Vaccinations Photo Slideshows Transsiberian on Google Earth Hear Russian Travel Phrases Links Google Russia Trans-Siberian Maps
The Journey of a Lifetime !
click for larger map of Trans-Siberian Railway showing the Trans-Siberian route,
Ural Route, Trans-Mongolian route and Trans-Manchurian route
with major cities in English,Russian and Chinese.
1996 show on the Transsiberian, with a good over
view and history of the railway, Lake Baikal, China and Mongolia.
Introduction to the Routes
There are 4 main routes on the Trans-Siberian: the Trans-Siberian line, Trans-Manchurian line, the Trans-Mongolian line and the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM) Line . There is also a southern Ural route from Moscow to Yekaterinberg via Kazan on train 16 known as the Ural. Kazan is the capital of the automonous republic of Tatarstan. Sone of the main sights in Kazan are the kremiln, declared a Unesco World Heritage site,the Annunciation Cathedral and the Syuyumbike Tower. the main tourist season goes from May to the end of Sept.
The first spike of the railroad was laid by then Tsesarevich Nicholas on May 19, 1891 at Vladivostok. Similar to the Transcontinental Railroad in the USA, Russian engineers started construction at both ends and worked towards the center.The Trans-Siberian Railway, completed in 1901, enabled millions of peasants to migrate over the UralsThe Trans-Siberian line remains the most important transportation link within Russia; around 30% of Russian exports travel on the line. While it attracts many foreign tourists, it gets most of its use from domestic passengers
An armoured train on the train Siberian during the Russo-Japanese was that broke out in 1904. Japanese fear of the completion of the Trans Siberian was one of the major causes of the war. In 1916 the last tracks were laid .
The Trans-Siberian Route from Moscow to Vladivostok
The Trans-Siberian travels some 9289km (about 6,000 miles) from Moscow to Vladivostok. The trip takes seven days nonstop.
St. Petersberg Suzdal Omsk Tomsk
Starting from Moscow or St. Petersburg, passing through Suzdal (Су́здаль) famous for its onion domed churchs, the industrial city of Perm ( Пермь ) , Yekaterinburg ( Екатеринбу́рг ) , Omsk ( Омск )with its stately 19th century buildings along Lyubinsky prospekt/Lenin Street, Novosibirsk ( Новосиби́рск ) with its railway museum, Tomsk ( Томск )the oldest Russian city in with Siberia interesting wooden buildings, Krasnoyarsk ( Красноя́рск) close to the huge national nature reserve of Stolby. After this the BAM line splits off to the north going to Vanino opposite Sakhalin Island Tayshet ( Тайше́т ) at Tayshet ( Тайше́т ).
The main Trans-Mongolian line going through Mongolia and onto Beijing splits off at Ulan-Ude. The Trans-Manchurian going through Harbin and Beijing splits off at Chita. It is also possible to take a train from Moscow to Central Asia, going to Tashkent and Almaty, these trains take about three days. From Almaty it is possible to enter China through Urumqi.From Vladivostok you can continue by ferry to Niigata on the west coast of Japan.
Lake Baikal is famous for its smoked fish (Omul),sold on the
shore of Lake Baikal and at Slyudyanka Station:
Map of the BAM line
BAM Railway Poster promoting the BAM Sovetskaya Gavan
4,300 KM 4 days journey through rugged Siberian landscapes
The newest and northernmost line From Tayshet to remote Sovetskaya Gavan ( Сове́тская Га́вань ) a port on the Strait of Tartary, most of it built in 1944-1946, mainly by gulag prisoners, including German and Japanese prisoners of war . This line passes the northern Lake Baikal town of Severobaikalsk . Close to the end of the line, you can tahe a ferry from the port city of Vanino to Sakhalin Island ( 16 hours ). Check to see if you can continue onward to Japan .
Ulaan Baatar Train Station
2,217 KM 2 day journey
From Ulan-Ude ( Ула́н-Удэ́ ) the Trans-Mongolian heads south to Ulaan-Baatar before making its way southeast to Beijing. Ulan-Ude was founded in 1666 by the Russian Cossacks. Due to its geographical position, the city grew rapidly and became a large trade centre which connected Russia with China and Mongolia. There are old merchants' mansions richly decorated with wood and stone carving in the historical center of Ulan-Ude, along the river banks. They represent beautiful examples of Russian classicism. There is also a large and highly unusual head of Lenin in the central square - the largest in the world.
A second primary route is the Trans-Manchurian, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian as far as Tarskaya (a stop 12 km east of Karymskaya, in Chita Oblast), about 1,000 km east of Lake Baikal. From Tarskaya the Trans-Manchurian heads southeast, via Harbin and Mudanjiang in China's Northeastern Provinces (from where a connection to Beijing is used by one of MoscowBeijing trains), joining with the main route in Ussuriysk just north of Vladivostok. This is the shortest and the oldest rail route to Vladivostok. Some trains split at Shenyang, China, with a portion of the service continuing to Pyongyang, North Korea.
A very detailed account of in Spanish
The standard accomodation on TS trains are second class carriages. On the Chinese trains 1st class has softer beds, the real luxury is in the Chinese delux class with a sofa and shower.
Delux First Class
Available only on the 3/4 Trans-Mongolian train. Two person berths with wood panelling and a shared shower.
First Class SV
Usually called SV, short for spalny vagon (sleeping wagon), the same as Second Class but there are only two berths. Some have TVs with dvd players. Usually cost double of Second Class.
Usually called kupeyny and are the standard accommodation on the Trans-Siberian trains. Each compartment usually has four berths.
Called platskartny or zhyostky (hard class) with a car of 54 berths in blocks of four on one side and two on the other.Try to avoid seats near the ends as they are near the toilets.
On the trains the carriage attendant is called the provodnitsa,usually female.
Fares are widely variable, but difficult to predict exactly. Fares for Russian trains are subject to seasonal changes, with mark-up for high season being up to 40%. Rough ideas would be
* Moscow - Vladivostok $250/$500 (2nd/1st class, one-way)
* Moscow - Beijing $200/$320
* Moscow - Irkutsk $60/100
* Irkutsk - Ulaanbaatar $30 (one-class)
The train has second class four-berth compartments (called "kupé") and first class two-berth compartments (called "spalny wagon" or "SV") and a restaurant car. One-way fares start at about $250 in a four-berth sleeper or $320 in a two-berth sleeper.Prices increase dramatically if additional stops are needed. Russian train tickets can only be purchased within the Russian Federation or in Finland. Tickets can be purchased only 45 days in advance. Many travel agencies can arrange to have tickets purchased by proxy, but the 45 day limit is strictly enforced.
The Russian train system is different from European ones. The train tickets are bought for fixed dates and all the stops must be planned in advance. If you have a ticket Moscow-Vladivostok and step off the train in Irkutsk, you can't use your ticket for a next train going to Vladivostok. If your stop is not planned in advance and not revealed in your tickets, your ticket will be cancelled and you'll get stuck in Irkutsk.
There are four ways of buying tickets for the trip. You can either purchase them from a travel agent in your own country (or online), a travel agent in the country you will start the journey in, or turn up and buy tickets yourself. The first option is the safest but the most expensive, the latter the cheapest but riskiest. Popular trains can be sold out well in advance, particularly in peak season.
If you want to meet Russians on your trip, consider going from Vladivostok and heading west,since fewer tourists take the Trans-Siberian in this direction.
Trans-Siberian travellers will need Russian, Mongolian and Chinese visas. It is best to obtain your visas in your home country or Hong Kong, some tour companies will arang this as a package.
Mongolian visas can easily be obtained from the Mongolian consulate in Irkutsk (Russia), and Chinese visas in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia).
Russia : Invitations are generally required, and they must be registered in the country within 72 hours of arrival. However, Russian transit visas issued in Beijing last 10 days, and require no invitation. This would be enough time to make the trip with no stops on the way and spend a couple of days in Moscow.
www.monkeyshrine.com in HK can arrange train tickets, visas and hotels 852-2723
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B. Consider a vaccination for Japanese B encephalitis if spending a month or longer in the russian Far East and Siberia.A vaccination takes three injections over 30 days.
Trans-siberian railway trip 1978
Set of photos taken in the Asian and European parts of Russia -- plus a few taken in northeastern China -- during a trip from Beijing to Moscow in early April 2000
My name is _____. Меня зовут ______ .
Nice to meet you. Очень приятно
St. Petersberg Санкт-Петербу́рг
Provodnitsa (female) train attendents
Books and movies on the Trans-Siberian Railway
Essential tips on route planning, when to go and visas
Impressive photos and
Transsiberian (film 2008)
Transsiberian is a 2008 neo-noir thriller film that stars Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Eduardo Noriega, Thomas Kretschmann, and Ben Kingsley. The film is set on the Trans-Siberian Railway and its Trans-Manchurian branch
East of the Sun: The Epic Conquest and Tragic History of Siberia Russia's conquest of far-flung Siberia is a magnificent saga that rivals that of the settlement of the American West in its tragic drama.
Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing star in this creepy tale of a long-frozen "missing link" discovered in the ice in Northern China. As the frozen relic is being transported to England via the Trans-Siberian, passengers begin turning up dead, their eyes drained of all color. This excellent forgotten horror gem has the look and feel of a Hammer production, though it's Spanish. Oh, and Telly Savalas is in it, too!
Railroad on DVD Explores the incredible history of this legendary line through amodern-day ride across Russia, archival footage and photos of its construction
wikitravel on the Trans Siberian
Russian Railways seems to be down
turksib.com The Turkestan-Siberian route into Central Asia via Novosibirisk and Almaty