Ulan-Ude to Moscow Train Route: History, Things to See
Between 1895 and 1900, the Trans-Baikal Railway enlivened Ulan-Ude with trade and new inhabitants. Before this branch of the Trans-Siberian Railway was built, this small town had only a few thousand villagers that didn’t stray far. Leaving from the southern shore of Lake Baikal at Mysovaya Station and traversing 1,100 km eastward to Sretensk Station, the railroad passed through Verkhne-Udinsk. In 1934, Verkhne-Udinsk changed to the name Ulan-Ude.
“Zabaikalskie oblastnye vedomosti,” the local newspaper, wrote about the first train’s entrance in August of 1899. The inhabitants were thrilled, decorating their houses, wearing their Sunday best and going to meet the train at the station. Orchestral music and a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the train’s arrival. The railway workers received gifts of bread and salt from the mayor. The head of the construction brigade raved about the opportunities the train would bring. Passenger traffic opened in December of 1899.
The first journey between Mysovskaya and Verkhne-Udinsk lasted fourteen hours. Today, the trip on the much finer Rossiya train is only three and a half hours. The trip on the Ulan-Ude to Moscow train is 5500 kms long and takes approximately 3 and half days.
Things to See on the Ulan-Ude to Moscow Train Line
Ulan-Ude: Republic of Buryatia calls Ulan-Ude its capital. The spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism in Russia, the mix of Russian and Buryat cultures makes this place interesting. Other sites include Ivolginsky Datsan and the hilltop Rinpoche Datsan and Odigitrievsky Cathedral.
Baikalsk: This small town overlooks lake Baikal. With a red sand beach named Pomegranate and a winter sport resort on Mount Sobolinaya, it’s an ideal break from touring churches and museums, or gazing out a train window.
Irkutsk: A vital metropolis in the imperial era, Irkutsk was founded in the mid-17th century. It’s the point from which many people travel to Lake Baikal. But don’t rush off, as it offers historical wooden structures and the house museums of the Decembrists. The Taltsy Open Air Ethnographic Museum is also in Irkutsk.
Novosibirsk: Known for being a center of culture and science, Novosibirsk has its own Academic town called Akademgorodok which was built in the 1950’s to be an epicenter of technology and science. The Opera and Ballet Theater, State Art Museum and Central Siberian Botanical Garden are other magnificent sights.
Yekaterinburg: With a vibrant cultural scene, Yekaterinburg boasts a Literary Quarter, the Yeltsin center and all that the fourth largest city in the largest country on earth has to offer. The Church on Blood has replaced the Ipatiev House where Tsar Nicholas II’s family was murdered.
Yaroslavl: Savior Monastery and Church of Elijah the Prophet are just some of the sights that show off this Golden Ring city’s thousand years of existence.