What I saw on the four day non-stop Trans Siberian ride from Irkutsk to Moscow

This is a continuation from: Photo Story – Trip to famous Lake Baikal via Listvyanka

For the second league of the Trans Siberian league, we booked our tickets on the Russian Railways website. It’s cheaper because there isn’t any commission fee from the tour agency involved, though slightly inconvenient as you’ve got to exchange the booking confirmation for confirmed tickets. The long distance railway ticket office is located some distance away from the main station in Irkutsk. Come out of the Irkutsk Railway Station, turn right and walk straight. Be there an hour earlier just in case the queue gets really long!

Trans Siberian train tickets - Irkutsk to Moscow
Our train tickets – finally after a 30 minute wait.
Irkutsk Train Station
Waiting room of the Irkutsk Train station. Do note that departures are in Moscow time. Do make adjustments accordingly.
Irkutsk Moscow Trans Siberian platskartny train
Here’s a peek into our sleep quarters for the next four nights. It’s less comfortable than the berth we had from Beijing to Irkutsk.
Trans Siberian third class upper berth step
Step on to the upper berth, which I found so difficult to get on!
Sunset Trans Siberian Irkutsk to Moscow
Sunset from the view of the window

The Siberian landscape, unlike Mongolia, is filled with trees, buildings and occasional factories as we pass by townships. It could be sunny, then raining or snowing in a matter of minutes. We had some difficulties taking pictures because the windows were so dirty. Hence, the pictures were edited to increase the contrast of the landscape and clean out dirt spots. Have fun looking through them!

Trans Siberian haystacks fields
Came across haystacks that line the dry fields
Russian houses Trans Siberian train
Russian houses along the way, some are made of wood, others metal and other objects
Trans Siberian forest train scenery
Siberian forest which has shed its leaves. I edited the contrast of the photo, as it did not show well on the window’s reflection.
Russian trains trans siberian containers length
I counted – there are more than 70 containers driven by one train engine.
Russian trains cargo petroleum
Petrol getting transported as well – Why is the container round instead of squarish?
Transporting wood - Russian trains Trans Siberian
Transporting tree logs – Russian trains. (Didn’t photoshop this) – tiny dots on the photo are dirt from the train
Trans Siberian scenery Russia
A Siberian Sunset
Russian houses Trans Siberian scenery
Russian houses in the fields
A stream by the railway tracks
A stream by the railway tracks
Russia Snowing Trans Siberian station weather
It could be sunshine, and then snow in a span of five minutes
Russia Snowing Trans Siberian station weather
Snow stops – what’s left is ice on the tracks
Seller trans siberian russia railway tracks
Selling craneberries at the side of railway tracks
Russian railways cargo
Long line of petrol containers – I love counting them. This had 76.
Trans Siberian arrive Moscow 4am
Finally arrived – Moscow @ 4am

In all honesty, I preferred the Mongolian landscape much more. Wide flat plains with clear blue skies and cotton candy clouds. The Siberian landscape was pretty harsh to me, possibly because of the season. Trees were about to hibernate, loosing their leaves and causing them to look bald and spidery. We also came across several industrialised towns in Russia spewing out what seems to be grey smoke against the setting sun. Then I am reminded of China.

There were a few “incidents” that happened along the way, given that we met Russians from all walks of life during this 4 day 3 night trip. Stay tuned, but before that let me share a series of tips and tricks for travelling on the Trans Siberian.

Watch this space for my next post on Trans Siberian tips: Planning to poo on a train toilet.

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