Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Trans-Siberian Part Three: Arrive at Irkutsk

A Trans-Siberian-Mongolian Journey

A long, long Railway Journey

Part Three: Beyond Novosibirsk

Gyan C. A. Fernando

Beyond Novosibirsk
Trans Siberian: Novosibirsk Station
Novosibirsk Station

We arrive in Novosibirsk at 1942 hrs by the platform clock. It is night but we have generally lost track of time. 
According to my diary it is our third night on the train.

That night, some of my stuff, including underwear, fall off my bunk into the bunk below which is occupied by Maggie.
In the morning I recover my stuff including loose coins. It is difficult to get organised in the cramped space.

It is now the 10th of August. Meals on the train are served at irregular times. My breakfast on the train is just a hot chocolate and a cigarette. Smoking is allowed at the very ends of the carriages.
Trans Siberian: Krasnoyarsk Station
Krasnoyarsk Station: The author with an early morning hotdog

We now arrive at Krasnoyarsk which is 4069 Km from Moscow. 
The local time is 0756 Hrs and the train is running on time. 
The station is quite ornate. 
I get myself a hot dog and although it is early morning, I buy myself a beer.

Just after leaving Krasnoyarsk, we cross the big Yenisey River.

Body Odour
There is apparently a problem with this in one of the compartments. The tour leader from a French group borrows my cigarette lighter to light incense sticks! Apparently, some of his clients are stuck with a man who smells!

Our carriage attendant girl, "Lycra Shorts" is still in her green dressing gown. The brisk, skinny, blonde attendant girl from the next carriage keeps rushing in and out of our carriage. She is in uniform.
Trans Siberian, Llanskaya station, preserved steam locomotive.
Preserved steam loco
Trans Siberian, Llanskaya station, diesel locomotive.
Shunting at Llanskaya

The Train
The train is still hauled by a single electric locomotive. We are now climbing gently and in long curves. The landscape is the same but more houses and factories are visible.

At 1238hrs we arrive at Llanskaya (4344 Km). There is plenty of food and drink on the platform including toffee waffles, a local specialty. 

Vendors on the Trans Siberian
Young vendors
Babushka vendor
There is a preserved old steam locomotive at the station and several diesel electric shunters are working.

At 1800 hrs we get to Nijneudins.(Nizhneudinsk) at 4647 Km and then Zima 2122 hrs at 4902 Kms.

The next morning we get an early morning wake up call. We are approaching Irkutsk and we have to hand over our bed linen. 

Lycra Shorts (left)
We arrive at Irkutsk. Moscow time is 0155 hrs by my watch and the local time is 0700 hrs, a time difference of 5 hrs.
We say fond farewells to our carriage attendants, including "Lycra Shorts" who smiles for a change.

We feel a swaying, dizzy motion after getting off the train having been on the train four nights!

It is a bright and sunny morning and this is where we met the lovely Gala, our local guide.

 Continued: Irkutsk and Baikal

Copyright: Gyan C. A. Fernando, 2012


The photographs all belong to the author and are copyright. 

More pictures available here: Picasa 

Further Reading:
  1. The Trans-Siberian Railway (Wikipedia):
  2. The Practicalities (Wikitravel):
  3. The Trans-Siberian Route:

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