History of the Moscow to Novosibirsk Train Route
Novosibirsk is the third-most populated city in Russia, one of the country’s cultural centers and an important transport hub on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The evolution of the city was inextricably linked with the construction of the Trans-Siberian, as Novosibirsk was just a small village named Krivoshchekovo until 1893, when it was selected as the railway’s crossing point over the River Ob. The town was named Novonikolayevsk in honour of Tsar Nicholas II, and renamed Novosibirsk in 1925.
The arrival of workers on May 12th, 1893, to build houses for the railway construction workers, is considered the birthday of Novosibirsk.
The stretch of the Trans-Siberian Railway to Novosibirsk was known as the Western Siberian Railway, and connected the emerging town with the Ural city of Chelyabinsk. Part of the Western Siberian Railway remains today the final stretch of the train journey from Moscow to Novosibirsk. The route of the two-day journey from Moscow to Novosibirsk varies depending on which train you choose, especially on the first stretch of your journey from the capital:
• The Rossiya Trans-Siberian train goes via Yaroslavl and Kostroma
• Trans-Siberian train #061/062 and train #256 go through Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, Kirov and Perm
• Train #081/082 runs via Kazan
• Train #071/072 travels through Yaroslavl, Kirov and Perm.
Each route meets at Yekaterinburg and continues on to Novosibirsk via Tyumen and Omsk.
What to see on the Moscow to Novosibirsk train route:
Yaroslavl: one of Russia’s Golden Ring cities, Yaroslavl is filled with ancient religious monuments such as the Transfiguration of the Saviour Monastery and Assumption Cathedral, has a UNESCO-recognised historical city centre, and romantic riverside spots.
Vladimir: another jewel of Russia’s Golden Ring and the capital of medieval Russia, established in the year 995. Like Yaroslavl, Vladimir is dotted with UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient monuments like the 12th-century Uspensky Cathedral and the Golden Gate.
Nizhny Novgorod: a vital trading hub from the medieval times to the heyday of the Russian Empire, the city is home to several beautiful churches and cathedrals, the Kremlin, the vast Nizhny Novgorod Fair, and stunning promenades along the Volga.
Kazan: the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan was established in 1005 and is unique for its blend of Russian and Tatar cultures. Main landmarks are the UNESCO-recognised Kremlin, home to the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Orthodox Annunciation Cathedral, Museum of 1000 Years of Kazan, and the Temple of All Religions.
Yekaterinburg: formerly closed to outsiders during the Soviet era, today Yekaterinburg is a vibrant hub of Russian culture, art and music which is often known as the capital of the Urals. The city is best known as being the deathplace of Nicholas II and his family.
Novosibirsk: the largest city in Siberia and Russia’s most important center of culture and science after St Petersburg and Moscow. Not only is it packed with landmarks such as the Opera and Ballet Theater (the largest in Russia), Art Museum, Museum of Local Lore, and Central Siberian Botanical Garden, but the surrounding region bursts with nature.
As we’ve mentioned, not every train from Moscow to Novosibirsk serves all of these cities. Choose your service carefully if there’s a particular place you’d like to stop off en route.