9. Sometimes the Musical Chairs of Riders Coming and Goings: A Train Buff’s Russian Trans-Siberian Adventure

9. Sometimes the Musical Chairs of Riders Coming and Goings

On Friday June 23rd late morning, Vladimir got off and a new passenger in the afternoon came in, A Russian, named Victor didn’t speak any English – he was just traveling to Habrov, a large city in the far East. He and I were exchanging words from Google translate. A friendly man in his forty’s. I went and tried out some luncheon cuisine at the train diner. Many thin tall trees (birch), and grasslands, were  very green. Also could see a two lane highway, only with couple of cars going eastward towards Habrov. Not many drivers on the highway, very sparse. Victor got off the train before 8pm.

Two young men in their early 30’s boarded the train at 8pm to go short distance, about 8 hours to just to sleep and get off by 4am on Saturday morning. Sergey and Alex spoke very little English, and they were quite. I took a lot of sunset pictures. The clouds were cleared, and the sunset was very orange looking, taking the pictures while the train was moving between 80 to 100km/h speed. All through the route of about 5,700 miles, the train system of Trans-Siberian is electric power-driven. Every 100 to 200 feet, power poles.



Most of the pictures I took, have power poles, which support the electric power lines for the locomotive engine. I kept experimenting with new cuisine for lunch and dinner.







5. First Full Day on the Train: A Train Buffs’s Russian Trans-Siberian Adventure

5.  First Full Day on the Train

Woke up Sunday morning Moscow time, and looked outside. All long distance trains and train stations in Russia are on Moscow time, regardless of the time zones in various regions. During the day on Sunday, June 18th, the train went through hundreds of miles lined with greenery trees, most of them  birch and other trees, and farm lands. Lots of small houses, and very few train stops, because this train is the fastest train, called Rossiya, and stops at 25 or less stations between Moscow and Vladivostok. The weather changed from sunny to few showers, and sunny again.

The train the first day traveled through Ural regions and few rivers. Also the weather is slightly cooler, but comfortable. Passengers are friendly. Two other cabin mates in our cabin, is one Russian man (Vladimir), and the other a German who spoke fluent Russian (Michael). Both were very helpful and courteous, and spoke Russian with the train attendants, and the Michael the German, translated into English. None of the train attendants or servers in the diner spoke English. I was ready with my Google translator, if it was required or necessary. All four of us had breakfast together at the trains diner (restaurant) and shared conversation.

The other two cabin travelers are going to Irkutsk, a 4 night journey. They are very good cabin members. In the afternoon around 3pm, I bought two more large water bottles at the station. Now I’ve enough bottled water for 3 days. I’ve enough provisions for at least 3 days or even more. Maybe in Irkutsk, I’ll buy more provisions for the remaining 3 nights. So far on the first day the journey on the train has been very comfortable and very little stress. The train attendants (women) also sell coffee, bakery, puzzles, to raise revenue for the train system. The attendants stand outside the carriage steps every time the train pulls into the station, and they stand there until the train leaves. Kind of precision work.

By 8pm, the train covered 1436km to Perm II, from Moscow. There is a list of complete train stops and the time, in the walkway for the passengers to read.

3. Preparation to Get on Trans-Siberian Train – Rossiya 002: A Train Buff’s Russian Trans-Siberian Adventure

3.  Preparation to Get on Trans-Siberian Train – Rossiya 002

Couple years after my long distance Indian train travel in 2008, I read about Trans-Siberian train in Russia, a 7 day travel, in travel books from Moscow to Vladivostok. That got me interested. I love the scenery with green trees and lake Baikal in Siberia, peace and quietness, culture and travelers, lengthy time, dining car, train motion, long distance and plain curiosity.

First the experience at Yaroslavsky train station in Moscow on June 17, 2017, Saturday evening. Me and my travel partner (Michael) got to the station at 8:30pm, very early arrival to the station. Our train number 002, Rossiya fast express train,  did not leave until 11:45pm. Earlier in the evening, a cab pulled in front of us, and two women passengers were leaving out of the cab. We hailed at the cab. After some discussion, the Russian young driver, looked like he was in late 20’s, friendly and helpful, decided to take us to train station. We wanted to pay up to 350 Roubles, based on my research on guide on Google cab ride. He was speaking in Russian, and we both were talking in English with him. Very funny!

 I took my cell phone out and turned on Google Translate from English to Russian for basic conversation for the ride and fare. The young driver said, it may be around 350 to 400 Roubles. We agreed and told him to take us to train station. The traffic was not too bad, because it is Saturday evening. We made sure the driver took us to the right station and stay within the price we agreed. It took him about 25 minutes to get to the station.  The fare came up to 450 Roubles. We didn’t mind paying the 450 Roubles, because I paid 250 Roubles as my share. The 7km ride was a much better experience than the nightmare we had with another cab driver, when we arrived at the Red Square, where our apartment was about half a mile from it.

Our experience the day we reached the Red Square Tuesday evening was rainy, overcast and walking around with our bags to find out exactly where our apartment was located. Google Map was no help. when the cab driver approached us, he shown us the charges. 100 Roubles for one KM and 100 Roubles for each minute. Very expensive ride for a half mile and some streets were congested, and we ended up paying 1,500 Roubles, a rip off.