A Legendary Route: The Trans-Siberian Railway

29 July, 2014

A Legendary Route: The Trans-Siberian Railway

The legendary route of the Trans Siberian Railway crosses two continents, 9288 km and seven time zones. Since 1916 it connects Moscow to Vladivostok in a single continuous service. Its story is deeply connected to Russian history.

In the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) the Trans-Siberian Railway was considered one of the reasons for Russia’s defeat, since its single track did not allow the Russians to move resources and troops as quickly as needed.

During World War II, a significantly increased railway provided a fundamental line of supplies for the European powers at war, connecting Germany and Japan, while the USSR was still neutral, and  the USSR and the US, at a later stage of the conflict.

The Trans Siberian Railway line has brought about the development of Siberia’s agriculture and still holds a fundamental role in Russia’s economy, carrying about 30% of Russian exports.

For many, travelling on the legendary route fits on the bucket list of life experiences that should not be missed out. The beautiful scenery, the untamed wilderness of the Taiga and the people that you can meet on the road provide a strong incentive to embark upon this adventure. In fact the train is one of the best places to speak with Russians.

The train allows a peculiar familiarity with strangers, and it is very common to be offered food, drinks (!), and interesting conversations.

The fastest (and perhaps not the nicest) option for taking the legendary route of  Transiberian takes about a week, and not everybody has so much time. Still there are plenty of occasions to take a train in Russia, and they shouldn’t be missed.

If you are curious about what the scenery on the Trans-Siberian can look like, you can check out this website, which Google has developed together with the Russian Railways and aims to recreate the spirit of this legendary train route:

http://www.google.com/intl/ru/landing/transsib/en.html

Comments are closed.