Journey through history and take in the sights on the longest, most famous railway in the world.
Charles Bowman / robertharding
Published February 10, 2018
Published 6 months ago
Winding more than 5,700 miles across eight time zones, from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest and most fabled rail line in the world. Constructed between 1891 and 1916, the railway established a permanent, reliable overland route for travelers and, crucially, for freight between Europe and Eastern Asia.
David SangerFull Speed AheadWithout stopping along the way, the trip would take about a week, but there's too much to see to even consider doing that.
Charles Bowman / roberthardingPoint of DepartureMoscow, home to 13 million people and the capital of the Russian Federation, is the westernmost point of the Trans-Siberian Railway.suraarkMoscow's Grand Central StationThe grand, western terminus of the Trans-Siberian line, Yaroslavlsky is Moscow's busiest train station. Passengers can board trains at Yaroslavlsky to North Korea, Mongolia, and China.Walter BibikowWhere Rivers MeetJust 180 miles from Moscow, the ancient city of Yaroslavl (pop. roughly 600,000) is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl rivers.
VostokSleep in StyleDeluxe sleeping cabins on the Trans-Siberian express are throwbacks to another era, when luxury train travel was the preferred mode of transportation for the powerful and the super-rich.David FormanNext Stop: The Church on the BloodLocated 1,100 miles east of Moscow, Yekaterinburg is Russia's fourth-largest city, with well over 1,000,000 residents. The "Church on the Blood" (pictured) was built in the early 2000s on the site where Czar Nicholas and members of his family were murdered during the Russian Revolution.Simon RichmondWelcome to OmskThe distinctive pale blue railway station at Omsk, a city in southwestern Siberia roughly 1,700 miles east of Moscow. Omsk is Russia's seventh-largest city and, as the junction of the northern and southern branches of the Trans-Siberian Railway, it is a critical rail hub.
Kirill KukhmarEnter SiberiaWith 1.5 million residents, Novosibirsk is the third-most populated city in Russia (after Moscow and St. Petersburg). A typical Siberian city in terms of climate, Novosibirsk experiences warm summers and brutally cold winters.by CaoWeiCity by the RiverNestled on the Angara River, just 50 miles from famous Lake Baikal, Irkutsk is "by far the most popular stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway between Moscow and all points east," according to Lonely Planet.John S LanderWorld's Deepest LakeRemarkable, enormous Lake Baikal -- the largest freshwater lake (by volume) in the world, as well as the world's deepest -- contains more water than all of the Great Lakes combined. It's just one of many stirring natural wonders along the Trans-Siberian route.
Kyodo News/Kyodo News via Getty ImagesEnter the TempleIvolginsky datsan, a Tibetan Buddhist temple not far from Ulan-Ude -- a main stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway 3,500 miles from Moscow. When the datsan, or university monastery, opened in 1945 it was the only Buddhist spiritual center in the then-Soviet Union.suraarkWhere Lenin Looms LargeA gigantic, 25-foot-tall, 42-ton bronze head of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin (1870 - 1924), looms over the main city square in Ulan-Ude, Siberia.The Asahi Shimbun Premium/Asahi Shimbun via Getty ImagesClose to the BorderA low sun lights up a shark fin-like piece of ice on the frozen Amur River in Khabarovsk -- the second largest city in the far east of Russia. Khabarovsk is less than 20 miles from the Russia-China border.
NutexzlesEnd of the LineNot far from Russia's borders with China and North Korea, Vladivostok is the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean.Michael Runkel / robertharding5,700 Miles Later. . .An old steam engine on display at the train station in Vladivostok, Russia, 5,700 miles away from the Trans-Siberian Railway's western terminus in Moscow.