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Trans-Siberian Railway facts

15 facts you need to know before hitting the Trans-Siberian


  • The Trans-Siberian Railway was conceived by Tsar Alexander III and construction began at several locations simultaneously in 1891
  • The main St.Petersburg to Vladivostok line was completed in 1903, with the first trains running in 1904. The railway was officially declared finished, however, in October 1916 when the bridge over the Amur river was opened and the route’s infrastructure was finally complete.
  • The length of the main Moscow to Vladivostok route is 9288.2 km. It crosses 8 time zones, passes through 87 towns and cities and crosses 16 major rivers, including the Volga, Ob, Yenisey, Oka and Amur.
  • The longest bridge on the Trans-Siberian Railway is that which crosses the Amur river near Khabarovsk at 2612 meters in length.
  • The longest tunnel is 2 km long. It begins 8140 km along the route.
  • The route passes through Europe for 19% (1777 km) of its length and Asia for 81% (7511 km). The border is marked at 1778 km near the town of Pervouralsk with small obelisk.
  • The Trans-Siberian Railway is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest single railway in the world.
  • There are 990 stations on the entire network.
  • Travelling non-stop along the main route takes seven days.
  • Sludyanka station, near Lake Baikal, is the only railway station in the world to be built entirely of marble.
  • The largest station on route is the Novosibirsk Main station at kilometer 3336.
  • The route passes alongside Lake Baikal for 207 km of its length.
  • Lake Baikal is the world’s oldest and deepest lake, at 30 million years old and with an average depth of 744.4 metres. It’s deepest point is  1,642 m (5,387 ft)Lake Baikal. It is also one of the clearest lakes in the world.
  • The average Jan-Feb low temperature in Ulaanbaatar is -25°C, in Moscow it is -12°C and in Beijing -8°C. Temperatures in the mid-20s to 30s can be expected in summer.
  • Finally, since Russians consume an average 12 litres of pure alcohol a year (three times the average for the rest of the developed world) the drink of choice along the Trans-Siberian Railway is vodka.

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