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Some Records of Trans-Siberian Railroad
December 8, 2009 01:44

Behold the frontier between Europe and Asia

The fact, that Trans-Siberian Railroad is the longest continuous rail line on earth, is well-known. As if it was not enough, Transsib has made some other records, like progress rate of the works and project costs. There are some more curious facts about Trans-Siberian Railroad and some records of this monster, going through 12 regions, 2 territories, 2 republics, 1autonomous region and one district included in the region.

1. One continent – two parts of the world

Trans-Siberian Railroad connects two parts of the world, Europe and Asia. The boundary goes trough the 1778 km of the Railroad, where it crosses the Central Urals, near the not-too-high pass. It is not far from the city of Pervouralsk. The frontier is marked with a white obelisk. Typically obelisks like that are constructed in memoriam, but this one reminds you that the Europe has fallen behind. More than 80 per cent of Transsib goes through Asia.

2. 207 kilometers along Baikal Lake

207-km section of Trans-Siberian Railroad goes along Baikal Lake, the largest and deepest fresh water lake in the world. You will be able to put value on the landscapes with snowy tops of mountains and incredibly clear water of the lake. You will see Baikal for the first time on the 5276th kilometer of the railroad.

In 28 kilometers, near the station of Slyudyanka-2 the railway descends to the bank of the lake and runs along it. On the 5499th kilometer (Boyarskiy Station) the railroad turns eastwards from the lake, and the last time Baikal can be seen through the trees on the kilometer 5518.

3. The cold pole of Trans-Siberian Railroad

The cold pole of the Trans-Siberian Railroad is situated on the section Mogocha – Skovorodino. The minter temperatures here reach – 62 C. Geographically, this section is not the northmost one, but the climate here is really severe. This is a zone of permanent frozen ground. At appropriate time this nice particular quality of severely continental climate caused some difficulties during construction of the railway.

4. Rivers and Bridges over them

Trans-Siberian Railroad crosses 16 big rivers of Eurasia, like Volga, Oka, Vyatka, Kama, Tobol, Irtysh, Ob, Tom, Chulym, Yenisey, Selenga, Zeya, Bureya, Amur, Khor and Ussuri. Amur is a largest one among them: Transsib crosses it in the middle reach, where its width reaches 2 kilometers, while the great rivers of Siberia – in the upper course, so their width is about 1 kilometer. The most dangerous river is Khor, because its level can rise by 9 meters. But it was another river, Khilok in Zabaikalye, which made the biggest damage; it swept away a considerable part of Zabaikalye Railway during the flood in 1897. 

The longest bridge on the Trans-Siberian Railroad is the bridge over Amur. It was firstly constructed in 1913 – 1916, and it had length of 2568 meters, 18 cuts each of them 127 meters and 200-meters elevated structure on the left bank. The destiny of this magnificent construction wasn’t easy (for example, it was waiting for the last girder, but it sunk in the Indian Ocean, and it was waiting for it once more, etc.) and ended in 1999 when it’s stripping down began. Now it is a common rail-and-road bridge, constructed in 1992 – 1999. Besides this bridge there are some bridges deserving attention: bridge over Zeya (1102 meters long), Kama (945 m), Yenisey (934 meters), Ob (820 meters) and Irtysh (734 meters).

5. Tunnels

The longest tunnel goes parallel to the longest bridge. The tunnel under Amur River was excavated in 1937 – 1942 for reasons of safety and strategy. Its length is 7198 (!) meters.

As far as the bridge over Amur is usually used for crossing this river, the longest tunnel you can see during the journey, would be another one, the Tarmanchukanskiy tunnel, built in 1915; its length is only 2 kilometers. It is situated in between 8140th and 8142nd kilometers of the Trans-Siberian Railway in the offshoot of Little Khingnan Mountains, between Arkhara and Obluchye settlements. In the whole, 15 tunnels are located on the Trans-Siberian main course, one of them is not being exploited now.

6. Stations

There are some unusual stations on the main course of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The biggest station on the railroad is Novosibirsk-Glavniy, the main railway station of Novosibirsk as well (it follows from the name of the station. "Glavniy" is the Russian for "the main"). It was constructed by the year 1940, the year before the Soviet Union entered in the Second World War. It represents typically Stalin style, something like classicism with a little empire style, of huge size with cold but aggressive order decoration. Its central fronton is higher as that one, which looks on the landside area. This little detail can also characterize the style in the whole.

There is also a station all made of marble. This is the station of Slyudyanka-1 (picture on the right), built in 1904, when the Russian monarchy had enough spare cash and strange ideas. This idea was to eternalize the titanic colossal labor of the builders of Circum-Baikal Railroad. This station is the last one on the Circum-Baikal Railroad. The marble building of Slyudyanka is in a good state of preservation. Apropos, it is situated not far from the Lake Baikal shoreline.

7. Prices

In the whole, the cost of the Trans-Siberian Railroad with KVZhD (Chinese Eastern Railway) and spur lines constructed at the same time, and the route which was built to avoid the foreign territories after the war with Japan amounted to one and a half billion rubles. This is an astronomic sum, but the result still keeping paying out. Making it possible to imagine, so great deal of money it was, I say, that exchange value of the golden ruble introduced in 1897 by the treasure minister Segey Vitte in the early 20th century was 0,5 USD.

All in all, there are many things on the Trans-Siberian Railroad worth to be described, and all of them are worth to be seen. Moreover, some of them are beyond any description. Baikal Lake and super severe frosts between Mogocha and Skovorodino, desolate territories of Siberia and the experience of the transcontinental journey, which seems to be endless, are such things.

P.S. Trans-Siberian Railway tickets can be bought here .

The Classic Trans Siberian tour starts and ends in St Petersburg. The Classic Trans Siberian is an Adventure tour that takes 19 days taking you through St Petersburg, China and other destinations in China.


The Russia Expedition - Winter Trans-Siberian Adventure tour starts in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok. The Russia Expedition - Winter Trans-Siberian Adventure is an Expedition tour that takes 15 days taking you from Moscow to Vladivostok and through other destinations in Europe.


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