The route around the Baikal Lake won’t disappear.
The train on the Circum-Baikal Railway will be preserved. The representatives of tourism business managed to successfully negotiate with the management of Russian Railways on preservation of the train on Circum-Baikal Railway (CBR). At the end of December of last year the organizer of the train, “Globe-Tour” company, suspended its work on this project, including due to the fact that the East Siberian Railway (ESR) retroactively raised tariffs on its services for the entire year.
The tour operators failed to receive guarantees on re-launch of the train neither from the organizer of the tourist train, nor from the management of the East-Siberian Railway. Due to all this uncertainty, regional companies couldn’t include tours of the Circum-Baikal Railway into their programs.
The Siberian Baikal Tourism Association (SBAT) appealed to the Russian Union of Tourism Industry asking it to assist in resolving of this issue. The Russian Union of Tourism Industry sent corresponding letters to the President of “Russian Railways” OJSC Vladimir Yakunin, to the Ministry of Transport and Rosturizm. According to Executive Director of SBAT Galina Solonina, the efforts of tourism industry were not in vain, the train will run on the Circum-Baikal Railway, and the prices for it will be reasonable.
“Rosturizm and Russian Union of Tourism Industry helped us a lot, discussing the issue with the Head of Russian Railways. Before that it was said that Russian Railways would set high prices for CBR, as the train was not a part of regular railway traffic. But after the “letter attack” a socially responsible decision was taken: what cost 2.7 thousand roubles earlier will cost 3-3.7 thousand now” – Solonina explained. According to the Head of ESR Vasilii Frolov, the railway workers are also interested in preserving of the route around the lake.
“It's really a very interesting object. About 800 monuments of architecture and cultural heritage of Russia are concentrated on the Circum-Baikal Railway. CBR transported almost 190 thousand of tourists only in 2013” - he said. That is why ESR found the opportunities to reduce the cost of travel.
In 2015 it is planned to deliver tourists to CBR by retro trains on electrified railways instead of buses. In the future the vacationers will be able to go by excursion trains on electric traction. For this purpose the enterprises of the Urals has already begun complete repair of Irkutsk locomotives. It is expected that in April of this year three modernized locomotives will arrive in Angara Region. The change of the means of transportation will help reduce the cost of tours through the Circum-Baikal Railway. ESR representatives also came to the conclusion that package tourism will provide the railway with the maximum load.
Author: Anna Dorozhkina