If you are on your way to finally visit Russia, the Trans-Siberian railway should definitely end up on your itinerary. Connecting Western Russia to the Russian Far East, it starts in the capital, Moscow, and ends in the city of Vladivostok, on the Pacific Ocean. But is there really nothing else to know about it? We think, there is! Here are 5 interesting facts about the Trans-Siberian railway.
Photo by Essow.
It Is in The Guinness Book of Records for Three Different Reasons
Firstly, at 9,289 km in length, the Trans-Siberian railway is in the record’s book as the longest railway line in the world. If you go all the way, boarding at Moscow city and getting off at the last stop at Vladivostok, it takes you approximately 7 days to complete the journey. The second reason the railway made it to the Guinness Book of Records is the number of stops. Out of 64 of them, many are set at the most convenient and tourist-friendly locations, such as the cities of The Golden Ring of Russia, Lake Baikal, and many more. Lastly, the Trans-Siberian railway is famous for the fastest pace of construction, an average of 600 km covered in one year. However, even with this impressive timing, it took over 25 years to build the railway.
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The Last Successful Project of The Russian Empire
The Trans-Siberian railway was built entirely on state money, without any involvement from foreign countries. The government realized that this was going to be one of the most important projects of the Russian Empire, so they made sure there was no problem with fundings. It was the last grand success before the revolution and it is still very successful to this day – now the Trans-Siberian railway manages 80% of Russia’s industrial potential.
An Interesting Crew
Convicted felons and criminals were widely used for establishments like this, and working on the Trans-Siberian railway was their way of redemption. Long hours spent constructing the longest railway in the world resulted in their sentences being reduced. And, interestingly enough, the whole process was supervised by Prince Nikolay, son of Alexander III, the tzar of Russia. Prince Nikolay was appointed as the head of construction to gain knowledge of management and administration.
You Hit Many Different Time Zones While on The Train
Ever wanted to experience time travel? Well, this is as close to it as you are going to get. The Trans-Siberian railway stretches through 11 time zones. For example, if you set off in the evening in Moscow, it is however morning in Vladivostok. Actually, the time difference can cause a lot of confusion, so be mindful and double-check your tickets, destinations, and time zones.
The Trans-Siberian Railway Trains Cross 16 Rivers
During the journey, do not forget to peer out the window, you can see the most beautiful blue sceneries, as the route crosses 16 famous Russian waters. The most popular of those are Volga, Kama, Irtysh, Ob, Yenisei, and Amur. Beautiful panoramas are best seen while crossing the 2 km long Amur Bridge and also the 7 km long tunnel under the same river.
Whether you choose this railway only for its convenient passages or you want to make it a full experience by going on a Trans-Siberian railway trip, be sure to put it on your to-do list while visiting Russia. Keep in mind to check the timetables, tickets and routes, and all aboard!
Main Photo by Krivec Ales.