Saturday, 21st July 2012
Early on Saturday morning, we arrived at Vekovka, where we paused for a couple of hours. I noticed a flock of birds wheeling over the station in the early morning sun. While we waited, various other trains came and went, served by a number of station sellers offering passengers a last chance to buy presents. I found it very curious that a vendor would be hawking chandeliers on a railway station at six o'clock in the morning.
At Vekovka, we left the Gorky Railway with its 25 kV a.c. electrification and made our final dash for Moscow via the Moscow Railway with its earlier electrification system operating at 3.3 kV d.c. As we neared Moscow, we passed a multitude of junctions and other railways criss-crossed. Around 'right time' we pulled into Kandinskiy Street Station at the end of our marathon rail journey from Mongolia.
Most of the 'Golden Eagle' guests were going on a City Tour of Moscow but Tatiana had arranged a taxi to take me to the Moscow Railway Museum. The museum in its present form only opened at the beginning of 2012. It's in a modern building set in quiet, manicured gardens contrasting with the hubbub of Richskiy Station next door. To add to the chaos, major civil engineering work is under way in Rizhskaya Square in front of the station.
I spent a pleasant hour pottering around the museum taking pictures (I'd bought a photographic permit) then had a quick look at Richskiy Station. I met up with my taxi driver who took me to the restaurant where my fellow-travellers were taking lunch after their morning city tour before departing in various directions. After a final meal together, it was time to say 'goodbye' to my new friends, then my taxi driver delivered me to Sheremetyevo Airport in plenty of time for my flight to Schiphol, then home to Birmingham Airport.
'Moscow Railway Map' (The Quail Map Company) ISBN: 1 898319 28 6.