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Re: World's longest train journey

Posted by Bill West on Fri Sep 17 02:26:42 2021, in response to Re: World's longest train journey, posted by AlM on Thu Sep 16 19:55:36 2021.

The local working folk never see that $2000 fare because they don't buy 10,500 miles in one shot let alone in a sleeper.

The keyword here is "longest possible". I think the writer has simply looked at European/Russian timetables and strung together some distances and timetable fares. This does not look like something that a professional agency or railroad has actually packaged and offered for sale ...oh the innocence of babes. I did Warsaw- Khabarovsk in the communist era, merely showing up at a border with no more thought than a ticket is how to get a lesson in bureaucracy. For a start you need an invitation from a Russian family or business in order to even get a visa to travel independently. Look at Seat61 for a lot of information.

My officially escorted experience included the cars only being stocked at Moscow, the dining car had cases of canned goods stowed under each seat and the TP in the sleepers ran out about half way across (but a carload of French tourists had smartly collected all the newsprint propaganda and torn it into neat sheets). This was a Fall trip and "last chance before winter" trackwork was causing serious delays. At Irkutsk (Lake Baikal) we were taken to the station only to be told the train was 12 hours late. Our group insisted on being returned to the hotel which was done. However the guide thought what was good for us was good for him and we all went to sleep. The catch was that he slept in and we missed the train. Fortunately our schedule had a day's padding, he took us to a good circus for the extra night. At Khabarovsk one couple was grilled by exit customs for trying to smuggle mineral samples out of the country, they had picked up some pretty pebbles at Lake Baikal.

So the trip is possible but one needs quite a bit of independent travel savvy to do it smoothly, this is not two tickets to Poughkeepsie.

Bill


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