What it’s Like to Travel on the Trans Siberian Railroad in Pictures

What it’s Like to Travel on the Trans Siberian Railroad in Pictures

What it’s Like to Travel on the Trans Siberian Railroad in Pictures

I’ve traveled a lot since my first big international trip got me hooked 6 years ago. Of all my travels I can confidently say that the most epic among them has been the Trans Siberian Railroad. When I got back from the trip I wasn’t sure if I’d ever top the intense, month long travel buzz I experienced when I was there.

I’ve certainly tried. This past year has been full of incredible trips with notable highlights including Argentina, India, and Iceland. It’s been a fun, crazy ride. But I still haven’t quite topped the combination of excitement, exoticism, edginess, and cold weather (I love cold weather) I enjoyed when I traveled from Shanghai to Moscow on a train.

I love travelling regardless of my destination, but I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps my all time favorite travel experience has already been had. I kind of doubt it, but I suppose it is possible. I know what I like and my travel style is perfectly suited to long train trips in exotic, cold places. I figure if I can’t top it, I might as well do it again… I’ve already arranged to travel back soon with some extra elements thrown in, of course. Among other differences, this time around I’ll be running a marathon across the frozen surface of Lake Baikal.

Since I’m starting to plan the trip once again, I’ve been looking back fondly at the pictures while remembering what it was like to take a train across Siberia:

Beijing Train Station

Beijing Train Station


Beijing Departure Board

Beijing departure board


Chinese train ticket

Chinese train ticket (with personal info removed… not that I don’t trust ya!)


Getting ready to depart

Getting ready to depart


The train's hallway

The train’s hallway. There’s not much room to maneuver


Inside the train car

Inside the 2nd class compartment on the Chinese train. There’s storage space under the seats, which also serve as beds.



What my left foot looks like in the train’s bathroom


A look at the restaurant car

A look at the Chinese restaurant car in Mongolia


Trans Siberian

Our train momentarily stops near another car with a curious family.


Approaching Ulaanbaatar

Approaching Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia



Wide open spaces in Mongolia


Another Stop

A random stop enroute


Card games

Card games with locals as we depart Ulaanbaatar


Entering Russia

Self portrait at the Russian border town of Наушки (Naushki). This stop took a while.


Russian train ticket

Russian train ticket (with some personal information whited out)



Sunset from the train


Hot water

Old USSR torture devices have apparently found a new home as hot water machines on the Trans Siberian


Cold in the passageway

The individual train cars are well heated but the passageways between the cars are not.



Another view of the passageway. You’ll often find locals having a smoke here – it’s unsealed, unheated, and partially exposed to the elements.


Looking out the window

A man takes a smoke break while watching Siberia pass by


Restaurant car

Finishing breakfast in the restaurant car


Trans Siberian Marketplace

When the train stops you’ll typically have a few minutes to get out and browse the markets. Careful though, it can be chaotic and it’s often hard to tell exactly how much time you have.



Train tracks as we slowly make progress across the Asian Continent.


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, check out more of my writing and photos from this trip: Trans Siberian Railroad. If you want to hear about my upcoming return trip to Siberia, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter at the upper right corner of your screen. Thanks!

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Comments ( 8 )

  • Red Hunt

    Love it!, great pics
    So many people would get bored on such a journey but I relish open spaces and long trips. I have heard the bathrooms can get pretty nasty on those trains though!
    Having been to Moscow and far East Russia…the Trans-Siberia is next on my hit list!

  • Fon

    Such a challenging journey! This is the journey i always want to have once in a life time. Thanks for sharing your travel 🙂

    • Ed Graham

      Yeah it was my dream trip too. So glad I was able to do it. The planning was challenging but once I was there it was surprisingly easy to get around and figure things out.

  • Ally

    Nice photos, I like the first one and the sunset from the train most. It looks like an exciting trip, we had planned on doing this as part of our upcoming next trip (although in the opposite direction) but had to cut it from our plans unfortunately due to not thinking we’ll be able to save up enough. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it one day, hope you enjoy it as much the second time round!

  • Wil

    Looks like quite the experience. Hopefully someday!

  • Mark Ziebarth

    Thanks for the great pictures! Your posts inspire me! I absolutely love the post!

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