If you would like to travel to Mongolia from Moscow or Beijing on the infamous Trans Siberian train, it is easy to arrange (see the link to the Russian Rail Portal at the bottom of this page) . From Moscow, crossing five time zones and taking five whole days, this amazing journey from west to east is a once in a lifetime experience. The train passes through the great cities of Perm, Ekatarinberg, and Irkutsk,
beyond which you travel along the shores of 'Lake Baikal' then cross the border into Mongolia. After the thrilling 6300 km journey, taking 106 hours, the train arrives in Ulaanbaatar. From Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, East to West, it is equally exciting, but the journey takes only 35 hours, 1356 kilometers. The train passes through Mongolia so it is sometimes called the Trans Mongolian Train.
All trains run to Moscow time whilst in Russia, and all Russian timetables quote Moscow time, even though local time can be up to 7 hours ahead of Moscow.
First class, 2 berths per compartment, are called "Deluxe" according to Chinese terminology or "Lux" according to the Russians.
Second class compartments have 4 beds. The Chinese Railway Authority calls it "Hard Class" and the Russians call it "Coupe".
Beijing to Ulaanbaatar takes about 35 hours and includes changing the bogeys. The whole train is lifted into the air, one carriage at a time, and the 'Bogeys' substituted for the different gauge.
The timetable for this train is complicated
because it changes every year, starting from the end of May. The Railway Authorities of China, Mongolia and Russia have a grand meeting in April and decide the timetable for the coming year.
'Carriages' have compartments with 2 or 4 beds, a table, and plenty of storage space. In each carriage (not in each compartment) there is a toilet and sink, and a "samovar" dispensing hot water for tea and coffee.
Attendants are constantly present to keep the train clean and orderly. "Lux" compartments have two beds and are relatively luxurious. 'Coupe' class have four bunks per compartment, all with clean sheets and blankets supplied.
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world. It was built between 1891 and 1916 to connect Moscow with the Far-East city of Vladivostok. En route it passes through the cities of Perm, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Chita and Khabarovsk.
This is all a bit..sort of..Aberdeen Angus Steakhouse 70's. Other than that it's sound. Yeah. Perfect. This is all I want - me own space. No people annoying me. No noise. No crowds. And I just look out the window at Russia. Which is what it's all about, innit ?