Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Travelling West

Tuesday, 17th July 2012

We spent the whole day travelling with only limited opportunity to 'stretch our legs' at the various 'technical stops' which the train made for crew change, locomotive change or re-filling the water tanks in each coach.

We had plenty of time to take a leisurely breakfast before our brief stop at Nizhneudinsk.

The modern station building at Nizhneudinsk.

Once we were on the move again, George Munro gave a lecture on 'Transport in Russia' before Tatiana offered a Russian class. Then it was time for lunch. We made a brief, unscheduled stop at Tayshet before continuing to our booked stop at Ilanskaya.

This view from the station footbridge at Ilanskaya shows the multiple loops for waiting freight trains heading east. The weird structures over the tracks (suggesting huge, alien insects) allow locomotives to replenish their supplies of sand used to improve adhesion where necessary.

By mid-afternoon we were on the move again and George delivered a talk on 'The Opening of Siberia' followed by 'Golden Eagle Teatime' in the Bar Car. Later, the train's resident pianist, Natalia, performed on the electronic Yamaha grand piano, also in the Bar Car. Our final opportunity to get off the train came at the major industrial city of Krasnoyarsk.

The rather grand station buildings at Krasnoyarsk hint at the importance of this industrial city.

Our departure from Krasnoyarsk was the cue to make our way to the Restaurant Car for the special 'Golden Eagle Caviar Dinner'.

Of course, throughout the day I was also trying to make some sort of record of the passing railway scene.

Railway Photographs:-

The 'Golden Eagle' train.
Irkutsk - Nizhneudinsk.
Nizhneudinsk - Tayshet.
Tayshet - Kraznoyarsk.


'Soviet Locomotive Types - The Union Legacy' by A J Heywood & I D C Button (Frank Stenvalls Forlag) ISBN 0-9525202-0-6.
'Trans-Siberian Handbook Sixth Edition' by Bryn Thomas (Trailblazer Publications) ISBN 1-873756-70-4.
'The Trans-Siberian Railway - A Traveller's Anthology' Edited by Deborah Manley (Century Hutchinson) ISBN 0-7216-2255-1.