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How to reach-up to Circum-Baikal Railway? Rambler's Top100 Service Transsib Handbook
- To walk - To go by "matanya" - To go by electric train - I'm cool and I want to go by a retro-train
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 So, you want to get to this fabulous railway. You have heard, read and watched a lot and now you want to see it with your own eyes... Well, we understand and support your wish. Really, it's worth seeing, and the more so that your travel along Circum-Baikal railway may impress you very much.
If you are able to do it with the least cost fo searching of important ways and kinds of your travel, we will consider that we have done necessary work. Than you can find our commentary about the main ways of getting to Circum-Baikal railway.
If you want to see one of site authors as your guide during the visit to Circum-Baikal railway please
contact us! We may to help to organize your in any season.

The starting point for all ways - Irkutsk Railway Station.

Irkutsk raylway stationFirst of all you have to get to Irkutsk Railway Station; (on the left photo). It will be our basic starting point for all the ways of getting to Circum-Baikal railway. Here you need to decide for yoursekf - what way do you want to get there, from the east (Slyudanka), or from the west (Baikal station)? And the second thing - how much time do you want to spend for getting acquainted with Circum-Baikal railway and how well do you want to get acquainted with it? Here you have 3 variants:
1) You can walk along it, a part of it or from the start to the end. This is the most radical method to see all the peculiarites of the nature, Baikal an the most legendary railway of Russia. You are to - be able to walk at least 8-10 kilometres without getting mortal tired (at the minimum) or to have minimal tourist skills for three- or four-days trip and needed equipment (at the maximum).
2) You can take "matanya". It is the name of ragged local train, which goes five times a week from Slyudanka to Baikal and back. It will take 5-6 hours. This way gives you an opportuinity of watching the locality and to get the first piece of impressions about Circum-Baikal railway and the people who live there. But in winter you will be able to see only ice out of the muddy windows.
3) If you are a rich person and have a lot of money in your pocket, than you may use one of the surprises which Russian commercial firms can offer: retro-trains, railway-track bus or tourist hostels decorated in imitation of old times. Also you may get a ship (in summer or in autumn) and go along the shore, watching nature and railway. But be ready to pay much for these ways of watching of the railway.


Way 1. If you want to walk from west to east (from Baikal station to Slyudanka).
a) First - from the railway station to bus station (scheme 1 - tram 1 to "Zentral'ny Rynok" stop, then to walk about 15 minutes or to take tram 4 and cover 2 stops; scheme 2 - tram 2 to "Muzei dekabristov" stop, then to walk about 5 minutes or to take a tram 4 and cover 1 stop; scheme 3 - bus 20 to "Zentral'ny Rynok" stop, then to walk about 10 minutes or to walk about 5 minutes and take a tram 4 and cover 1 stop). Then you are to take bus from bus station to Listvyanka (about 4 times a day). From Listvyanka to Baikal port all year round you can get "Babushkin" motor-vessel or its substitute, the railway station is about 100 steps from the pier.
b) Another variant is to get to Listvyanka by high-speed motor-vessel "Voskhod" or "Barguzin". For this purpose you are to take a bus 16 or a route taxi with the same number and get to the pier "Raketa", and then take a ship and it will take you about 1.5 hours to get to Listvyanka, there "Babushkin" motor-vessel will bring you to Baikal port.
Way 2. If you want to walk from east to west (from Slyudanka-2 station) and walk all the distance.
Take an electric train, which is going to Slyudanka. You are to get out of the carriage at Slyudanka-2 (it will take about 2 hours and 45 minutes). The road-fork of dead-end and passing railway is located right there.
Way 3. If you want to walk from east to west (to Baikal station) and to walk a part of the distance but to see the main sights.
It is possible to reduce sections of different length and the versions below are given by increasing of coming ways. So, take an electric train, which is going to Slyudanka and get out:
a) At Pereezd halt (electric train 2 hours + to walk 3 hours). Descent is along a very picturesque valley of Bol'shaya Krutaya Guba river. An exit to Circum-Baikal railway is at 141st km.
b) At Andrianovskaya halt (electric train 2 hours 10 min + to walk 2.5 hours). Descent is along Levaya Angasolka river. An exit to Circum-Baikal railway is at 149th km. This variant is not recommended fro beginners because of bad path, variant c) is more acceptable.
c) At Tyomnaya Pad' halt (electric train 2 hours 25 min + to walk 50 minutes). Descent is along Pravaya Angasolka river. An exit to Circum-Baikal railway is at 149th km.
d) At Zemlyanichny halt (electric train 2.5 hours + to walk 15 minutes). From this point you can walk along very steep path to Kultuk station.


Way 4. From Slyudanka station on the local train - "matanya".
You go to the last staion - Slyudyanka-1 - on Slyudanka electric train. Then you spend a lot of time at the railway station and, at last, having eaten plenty of smoked omul, you take a ragged local train number 951, which is called "matanya" and has muddy windows, and go to the last point of your trip.
You can recognize "matanya" very easily. It is lead by a shunting diesel locomotive TEM-2, and the outward of the carriages differs from Irkutsk local electric trains. Also "matanya" has a very great difference from all the local trains in Russia - it makes stops where you want like a taxi. So you may leave the train at any time and walk. Or, in the other way round, you may stop "matanya" and get to Baikal station.
The leaving time of the train from Slyudanka station varies some times a year from 13 to 20 o'clock (local time) and the trip takes about 6-7 hours.


Way 5. From Irkutsk to Baikal port by electric train.
From 2003 you can reach Baikal port from Irkutsk by an electric train of high convenience. It runs to Slyudyanka itself and later it's led by diesel locomotive. The electric train consists of 3 different classes carriages, and there are guides in carriages. The electric train plys in summer, on Wednesday and Saturday it departs from Irkutsk and on Thursday and Sunday it departs from Baikal.  The trip takes about 12-13 hours including stops.


Ways 6,7 and 8. By the retro-train "Orient", railway-track bus or by a ship along the shore.
You are not to worry how to get to the starting point of the trip - you will be brought and taken away. You have to contact the firm, which organize such trips and pay. That is all you are to worry about. (More detailed information will be added a bit later).


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Created by March 1, 2001