Our train left Vladivostok on time at 9:35 last night. We are on the number 2 train “Rossiya”, which is bound for Moscow, arriving in 7 days. We’re getting off at Irkutsk, 3 days away.
From Vladivostok, the line runs north, skirting along the Chinese border, before swinging west at the city of Harbarovsk. We’ve just arrived in Harbarovsk now, and since we’ve got a GPRS mobile phone signal, we can send this post.
The compartments on the train are comfortable, and the berths just long enough to let us lie straight oot. They are just like any other sleeping car that we’ve been on. There are four berths to a cabin, and around 8 cabins per carriage. This train is one of the more deluxe long distance trains running across Russia.
We awoke this morning to find the train passing through birch forests, interspersed with open grassy plains. We’ve passed through small villages, with huts and vegie patches. We’ve noticed that bridges have sentry posts at each end – probably because we are close to the Chinese border.
At the moment, we’re slowly passing through the suburbs of Harbarovsk, watching railway sidings and yards pass by. There are lots of goods trains carrying all sorts of things, including timber, containers, and even military equipment including tanks.
The train rocks and rolls on the tracks a lot, which makes typing a little difficult.
There’s a half hour stop here, and then we continue west.