Circum-Baikal Railway

This article is an itinerary.

The Circum-Baikal Railway is a railroad on the western shore of the Baikal mostly for tourist purposes. The railway stretch used to be part of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Understand

The 89-km–long route from Slyudyanka-2 to port Baikal is a great opportunity to enjoy the changing views of the lake as the train rides along the shoreline from south to north and back. You will pass through 39 tunnels making several 20 min stops to take a stroll outside.

Get in/Go

It is possible to travel independently using local transport at any time of the year, as train #6201 Matanya assures the connection between Slyudyanka 1 (Слюдянка 1) and Port Baikal (Байкал) through the Circumbaikal Railway. The train leaves Slyudyanka at around 13:30 local time four times a week, Mon, Thu, Fri and Sun. Updated timetables are available online from the Russian Railways website. As with any local train, it's not possible to buy tickets online, but they can be bought aboard for cca 70 roubles (one-way, July 2014), another 60 RUB you pay for a bigger backpack.

Matanya is now a comfortable, hi-tech looking red train, but like other local trains, it has no food for sale aboard and no hot-water dispenser. Water from "drinking water dispenser" was muddy and didn't look drinkable at all. The stops are not long enough to alight and, outside of season, there are no food sellers on the plataforms, so pack your lunch and don't rely on instant noodles.

Note that official Russian train directions are irrelevant to north-south and are only two: to the west (на запад) and to the east (на восток). This is what you will always see when dealing with railway timetables. So in case of Circum-Baikal Raiway to the west means northward to the port Baikal and to the east means southward to Slyudyanka.

Summing up the connection timetables it will need another day for the round journey. In summer 2014, the last minibus to Irkutsk departed Listvyanka at 21:00, so it was possible to complete the journey in one day.

See

These are major stops as follow:

Eat

It's important that food stores are scarce on the railway, so take something with you or use the bar.

see also

tourist trains

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, June 07, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.