A 9288 km railroad which crosses the biggest country on the planet, passes 485 bridges, 87 cities, 16 rivers, 8 time zones and takes 7 days to pass. The legendary Trans-Siberian Railway is the world’s longest train route that will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016!
The Trans-Siberian Railway (aka Transsib) is the backbone of the Russian rail network connecting Asia and Europe. The name refers to three rail routes that traverse Siberia from Moscow: the Trans-Mongolian (from Moscow to Ulan Bator), the Trans-Manchurian (travels through Siberia and Chinese Manchuria to Beijing), and the most famous Trans-Siberian (from Moscow to Vladivostok).
And the celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of its completion will be held in 2016.
In March 1890, traveling home from abroad the future Tsar Nicholas II made notes in his diary about his anticipation of traveling in the comfort of "the tsar's train" across the unspoiled wilderness of Siberia. Thus in merely a year in May 1891 the construction began close to Vladivostok.
Similar to the First Transcontinental Railroad in the US, Russian engineers started construction at both ends and worked towards the center. There were up to 60,000 workers building the railway many of whom were soldiers, as well as convict laborers sent into exile.
Despite all the hills, swamps, frozen ground, impenetrable taiga and magnificent Siberian rivers that had to be crossed, the biggest rail project of the country was surmounted using primitive 19th century equipment. Thousands of lives were lost at the time of construction, nevertheless only during the first decade (1891–1901) more than 7,000 km of tracks was laid – no other railroad in history has ever been built so fast! It was completed in 1916, and it took 74 years to electrify the full length of the Transsib which is an astonishing 9288 km!
After its completion the French newspaper La France wrote: "Since the discovery of America and the construction of the Suez canal, history knows no other event that had such massive direct and indirect consequences than the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway."
The new railroad changed Russia. The connection meant an economic upswing for Siberia and Far Eastern Russia as well as a massive migration to these regions. Towns located by the railway grew to large industrial cities; examples include Omsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.
The Trans-Siberian Railway together with Trans-Siberian tours is indeed the best way to explore Russia’s diverse landscapes and its rich natural and man-made heritage! It provides you with a wealth of opportunities to visit some of the most famous, unusual and spectacularly beautiful destinations in Russia.
You have a chance to experience a real adventure and cross the whole country starting in Moscow, pass through the breathtaking European part of Russia, see the deepest lake in the world - Lake Baikal and the Ural Mountains separating Europe and Asia, cross the mighty 2 km-long Amur Bridge, pass the 7 km-long tunnel that goes under the Amur River, see the only train station in the world built completely out of marble, span further into Siberia’s beautiful taiga and steppes, and arrive in Vladivostok - the Russian Far East port located on the Pacific Ocean!
Apart from the appealing scenery from the train windows the trains alone are a unique atmosphere where travellers can see Russian culture inside out, get to know passengers each with their own story, observe the genuine Russian style of life, and even take part of it if desired! You will be impressed by the great cities and awed by the rural fairy tale villages, sigh with delight from the wilderness of the Ural Mountains, forests of Krasnoyarsk and the awe-inspiring Lake Baikal.
Trans-Siberian Railway tours are a real adventure, don’t miss the unique opportunity to have the experience of a lifetime in its 100th anniversary year!