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International Railroad Discussion > Trans Siberian Express Trip Final

Date: 06/11/20 05:48
Trans Siberian Express Trip Final
Author: andersonb109

The last segment of the trip was from Kazan to Moscow. For some reason we did not take the traditional route into Varoslavsky Station, directly across Station Square from the very opulent Kazansky Station where we arrived. The last few hundred kilometers were under steam haulage. A beautiful P36 owned by Tim Littler, CEO of The Golden Eagle Orient Express Company (Formerly GW Travel) and a another L Class? still under Russian Railway ownership complete with CCCP on the front. My understand is the train has undergone significant improvements since my 2008 trip. One of the biggest issues for many clients...who were far less picky than me...was the lack of western style food and only one entree plus vegetarian per night. With no way to communicate with the Russian speaking crew as to how you wanted your meal prepared. They have since hired an English speaking restaurant car manager from the U.K.  to help sort things out.  Another issue for many was the all Russian Railway crew. Most other trains in this category have crews who work directly for the train's owner. But since the train doesn't run regularly, they simply hire out regular crews from the normal trains. My cabin attendants were a really nice husband and wife team. Everything was kept clean, service great and friendly. Others reported not so much. Some even refused to allow their photos to be taken. If that ever happened on Rovos Rail, Mr. Voss would have them fired immediately. The dining car crew seemed to be professional while working, often some of the men were seen shirtless in the restaurant car playing checkers between servings. That's not acceptable on a supposedly 5 star experience. They also began to smell bad after a few days. Did they not have showers in their accommodations? Again, that would never be the case on any Belmond train, Rovos Rail, Blue Train, etc. Lastly, the one lounge car was totally inadaquate for the number of passengers on board.  All these criticisms were brought forth by Eleanor and Owen Hardy of IRT  to Mr. Littler  who boarded the train when his locomotive turned up.

It was a once in a life time experience and I'm happy I did it. But would not do it again unless on a different routing to get the mileage. Had I had Yana with  me, it would have been a far different experience as she could have translated everything in the restaurant car and we could have done more independent stuff on the city stop overs. But even though she likes trains,  that would have been far too long for her on the train without overnight stop overs. 

So here are the last photos. First the lounge car followed by two trams in Kazan. Hope everyone enjoyed the series. I might do another when I'm back from some upcoming travel through the end of the month. 

Date: 06/11/20 05:49
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Final
Author: andersonb109


Date: 06/11/20 05:53
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Final
Author: andersonb109

Arrival at Kazan Station. Thank God there was even a Baskin Robbins inside. First ice cream in weeks. 

Date: 06/12/20 03:36
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Final
Author: 55002

Thanks for the trip report, Bruce. Very good reading. chris uk.

Date: 06/12/20 04:28
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Final
Author: ironmtn

My thanks also. I really enjoyed these views of parts of the world that I will likely never get to visit, and particularly the street scenes and station images in various cities. Travelogues are always fun, and yours have been quite enjoyable. Pleasant and safe travels on your upcoming trip.

Muskegon, Michigan

Date: 06/13/20 10:29
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Final
Author: jcaestecker

Put me on the list of those who enjoy your photos and travel stories.  Thanks!


Date: 06/14/20 15:53
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Final
Author: 567Chant

Thank you!
I enjoyed the photos and the commentary.

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