Monday, June 17, 2013

Dream Journey- The Trans-Mongolian Railway

Thanx to the original uploader:-inukjorgensen- Excellent Job

The Trans-Siberian Railway (Russian: Транссибирская магистраль Transsibirskaya Magistral') is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the East Sea (Sea of Japan).It is the longest railway line in the world. There are connecting branch lines into Mongolia, China and North Korea. 


Route development In March 1890, the future Tsar Nicholas II personally inaugurated and blessed the construction of the Far East segment of the Trans-Siberian Railway during his stop at Vladivostok, after visiting Japan at the end of his journey around the world. Nicholas II made notes in his diary about his anticipation of travelling in the comfort of "The Tsar's Train" across the unspoiled wilderness of Siberia. The Tsar's Train was designed and built in St. Petersburg to serve as the main mobile office of the Tsar and his staff for travelling across Russia. 

The main route of the Trans-Siberian railroad begins in Moscow at Yaroslavsky Vokzal, runs through Yaroslavl, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita and Khabarovsk to Vladivostok via Southern Siberia. It was built from 1891 to 1916 under the supervision of government ministers of Russia who were personally appointed by the Tsar Alexander III and by his son, Tsar Nicholas II. 

The additional Chinese Eastern Railway was constructed as the Russo-Chinese part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, connecting Russia with China and providing a shorter route to Vladivostok. A Russian staff and administration based in Harbin operated it. 

The Trans-Siberian Railway is often associated with the main transcontinental Russian line that connects hundreds of large and small cities of the European and Asian parts of Russia. At 9,259 kilometres (5,753 miles), spanning a record seven time zones and taking eight days to complete the journey, it is the third-longest single continuous service in the world, after the Moscow–Pyongyang (10,267 km, 6,380 mi) and the Kiev–Vladivostok (11,085 km, 6,888 mi)[4] services, both of which also follow the Trans-Siberian for much of their routes. 

 A second primary route is the Trans-Manchurian, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian as far as Tarskaya (a stop 12 km east of Karymskaya, in Zabaykalsky Krai), about 1,000 km east of Lake Baikal. From Tarskaya the Trans-Manchurian heads southeast, via Harbin and Mudanjiang in China's Northeastern Provinces (from where a connection to Beijing is used by one of the Moscow–Beijing trains), joining with the main route in Ussuriysk just north of Vladivostok. This is the shortest and the oldest railway route to Vladivostok. Some trains split at Shenyang, China, with a portion of the service continuing to Pyongyang, North Korea. 

The third primary route is the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian as far as Ulan-Ude on Lake Baikal's eastern shore. From Ulan-Ude the Trans-Mongolian heads south to Ulaan-Baatar before making its way southeast to Beijing. 

 In 1991, a fourth route running further to the north was finally completed, after more than five decades of sporadic work. Known as the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM), this recent extension departs from the Trans-Siberian line at Taishet several hundred miles West of Lake Baikal and passes the lake at its northernmost extremity. It crosses the Amur River at Komsomolsk-na-Amure (north of Khabarovsk), and reaches the Pacific at Sovetskaya Gavan. On October 13, 2011 a train from Khasan made its inaugural run to Rajin in North Korea. 

Trans-Siberian line

A commonly used main line route is as follows. Distances and travel times are from the schedule of train No.002M, Moscow-Vladivostok.[2]
Services to North Korea continue from Ussuriysk via:
  • Primorsk (9,257 km, 6 days 14 hours, MT+7)
  • Khasan (9,407 km, 6 days 19 hours, MT+7, border with North Korea)
  • Tumangang (9,412 km, 7 days 10 hours, MT+6, North Korean side of the border)
  • Pyongyang (10,267 km, 9 days 2 hours, MT+6)
There are many alternative routings between Moscow and Siberia. For example:
  • Some trains would leave Moscow from Kazansky Rail Terminal instead of Yaroslavsky Rail Terminal; this would save some 20 km off the distances, because it provides a shorter exit from Moscow onto the Nizhny Novgorod main line.
  • One can take a night train from Moscow's Kursky Rail Terminal to Nizhny Novgorod, make a stopover in the Nizhny and then transfer to a Siberia-bound train
  • From 1956 to 2001 many trains went between Moscow and Kirov via Yaroslavl instead of Nizhny Novgorod. This would add some 29 km to the distances from Moscow, making the total distance to Vladivostok at 9,288 kilometres.
  • Other trains get from Moscow (Kazansky Terminal) to Yekaterinburg via Kazan.
  • Between Yekaterinburg and Omsk it is possible to travel via Kurgan Petropavlovsk (in Kazakhstan) instead of Tyumen.
  • One can bypass Yekaterinburg altogether by travelling via Samara, Ufa, Chelyabinsk and Petropavlovsk; this was historically the earliest configuration.
Depending on the route taken, the distances from Moscow to the same station in Siberia may differ by several tens of kilometres.

Trans-Manchurian line

The Trans-Manchurian line, as e.g. used by train No.020, Moscow-Beijing[27] follows the same route as the Trans-Siberian between Moscow and Chita and then follows this route to China:
  • Branch off from the Trans-Siberian-line at Tarskaya (6,274 km from Moscow)
  • Zabaikalsk (6,626 km), Russian border town; there is a break-of-gauge
  • Manzhouli (6,638 km from Moscow, 2,323 km from Beijing), Chinese border town
  • Harbin (7,573 km, 1,388 km)
  • Changchun (7,820 km from Moscow)
  • Beijing (8,961 km from Moscow)
The express train (No.020) travel time from Moscow to Beijing is just over six days.
There is no direct passenger service along the entire original Trans-Manchurian route (i.e., from Moscow or anywhere in Russia, west of Manchuria, to Vladivostok via Harbin), due to the obvious administrative and technical (gauge break) inconveniences of crossing the border twice. However, assuming sufficient patience and possession of appropriate visas, it is still possible to travel all the way along the original route, with a few stopovers (e.g. in Harbin, Grodekovo, and Ussuriysk).[28][29][dead link][30][dead link] Such an itinerary would pass through the following points from Harbin east:

Trans-Mongolian line

The Trans-Mongolian line follows the same route as the Trans-Siberian between Moscow and Ulan Ude, and then follows this route to Mongolia and China:
  • Branch off from the Trans-Siberian line (5,655 km from Moscow)
  • Naushki (5,895 km, MT+5), Russian border town
  • RussianMongolian border (5,900 km, MT+5)
  • Sükhbaatar (5,921 km, MT+5), Mongolian border town
  • Ulan Bator (6,304 km, MT+5), the Mongolian capital
  • Zamyn-Üüd (7,013 km, MT+5), Mongolian border town
  • Erenhot (842 km from Beijing, MT+5), Chinese border town
  • Datong (371 km, MT+5)
  • Beijing (MT+5)

 The Trans-Mongolian Railway connects Ulan-Ude, on the Trans-Baikal (Trans-Siberian) railway in Russia, with the Chinese city of Jining, by way of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Other important stops are Sükhbaatar, Darkhan, Choir, and Zamyn-Üüd/Erenhot (border crossing and gauge-changing station). The line was built between 1949 and 1961. In most of Mongolia, it is single track, and in China double track. The gauge is 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5⁄6 in) in Russia and Mongolia and 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) in China. There are important branches leading to Erdenet and Baganuur.  

History Railway development came late to Mongolia. Construction of the Trans-Mongolian line began in 1947, reaching Ulan Bator from the north in 1950 and the Chinese border in 1955. Before that the only railways in Mongolia had been a 43 km (27 mi) line (opened in 1938) connecting the coal mines at Nalaikh to the capital and a Soviet-built 236 km (147 mi) freight-only branch (completed in 1939) from Borzya on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Bayantümen, Dornod near Choibalsan in north-eastern Mongolia. Russian Irkutsk State University of Railway Engineering opened its Ulaanbaatar branch in June 2009.  

Operation The Mongolian Railway company Mongolyn Tömör Zam carries 80% of all freight and 30% of all passenger transport within Mongolia. In the aftermath of the 1990 Democratic revolution freight traffic was reduced by about half, but by 2005 had almost returned to previous levels. Passenger numbers had already reached the old levels again by 2001, with 4.1 million passengers. Most trains are headed by at least two locomotives. While Mongolian trains run on 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5⁄6 in) (Russian gauge), China uses 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge). For this reason through carriages between the two countries must have their bogies changed at the border. Each carriage has to be lifted in turn to have its bogies changed and the whole operation, combined with passport and customs control, can take several hours. Freight wagons likewise have their bogies exchanged at this break-of-gauge.