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{{merge|Lake Baikal}}
 
'''Circum-Baikal Railway''' is a railroad on the western shore of the [[Baikal]] mostly for tourist purposes.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circum-Baikal_Railway]
 
'''Circum-Baikal Railway''' is a railroad on the western shore of the [[Baikal]] mostly for tourist purposes.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circum-Baikal_Railway]
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
 
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[[File:Circum-Baikal_Railway.png|thumb|500px|<center>Circum-Baikal Railway ([http://sharemap.org/public/Circum-Baikal_Railway interactive map])]]
89-km–long route from [[Slyudyanka]]-2 to port Baikal is a great opportunity to enjoy the changing views of the lake as the train rides along the shoreline from south to north and back. You will pass through 39 tunnels making several 20 min stops to take a stroll outside.[http://kbzd.irk.ru/Eng/]
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89-km–long route from [[Slyudyanka]]-2 to port Baikal is a great opportunity to enjoy the changing views of the lake as the train rides along the shoreline from south to north and back. You will pass through 39 tunnels making several 20 min stops to take a stroll outside.[http://kbzd.irk.ru/Eng/]. Before World War II Trans-Siberia trains from Irkutsk was following Angara river reaching Port Baikal and then going at lake coast to Sludyanka. In late 40s. Line from Irkutsk to Port Baikal was dismantled and traffic was moved to mountain road through Bolshoy Lug, making Circum Baikal dead-end railway.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
  
* By '''Circum-Baikal Express''', ''Кругобайкальский экспресс'' which departs from [[Irkutsk]]. It comprises 1st, 2nd and business-class carriages which are rather relaxing. You can hear the music, listen to the guide or sit at the bar. The ticket usually is  being bought at tour agencies as excursions. The train starts from Irkutsk on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8:00am or from the port Baikal on Thursdays and Sundays. The trip takes about 12-13 hours including stops for a walk. The time of return to Irkutsk is 21:00-22:00.
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* By '''Circum-Baikal Express''', ''Кругобайкальский экспресс'' (season only) which departs from [[Irkutsk]]. It comprises 1st, 2nd and business-class carriages which are rather relaxing. You can hear the music, listen to the guide or sit at the bar. The ticket usually is  being bought at tour agencies as excursions. The train starts from Irkutsk on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8:00am or from the port Baikal on Thursdays and Sundays. The trip takes about 12-13 hours including stops for a walk. The time of return to Irkutsk is 21:00-22:00.
  
If you want to travel by yourself you may enjoy two basic variants: southward and northward. Note that official Russian train directions are irrelevant to north-south and are only two: ''to the west'' (на запад) and  ''to the east'' (на восток). This is what you will always see when dealing with railway timetables. So in case of Circum-Baikal Raiway ''to the west''  means northward to the '''port Baikal''' and ''to the east'' means southward to '''Slyudyanka'''. The most common starting point is Slyudyanka. Local train that shuttles on the route is called ''matanya''  (#951/952).  
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It is possible to travel independently using local transport at any time of the year, as train #6201 '''Matanya''' assures the connection between Slyudyanka 1 (Слюдянка 1) and Port Baikal (Байкал) through the Circumbaikal Railway. Updated timetables are available online from the [http://pass.rzd.ru/main-pass/public/en Russian Railways website]. As with any local train, it's not possible to buy tickets online, but they can be bought aboard for 67 roubles (one-way, October 2013).
  
* Getting to Slyudyanka is possible by either elektrichka or marshrutka from Irkutsk and spans 2.5 hours. Connection time to matanya may be quite long and varies according to the season but it will certainly be within 13:00-20:00. The trip itself takes 6-7 hours. Departure time for port Rogatka (in Listvyanka): 6:40, 15:50 and 17:15.
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Matanya is now a comfortable, hi-tech looking red train, but as other local trains, it has no food for sale aboard and no hot-water dispenser. The stops are not long enough to alight and, outside of season, there are no food sellers on the plataforms, so pack your lunch and don't rely on instant noodles.
  
* From the opposite direction you should first go to [[Listvyanka]] and take a boat (ferry) across Angara river to the port Baikal. Departure time for port Baikal: 8:15, 16:15 and 18:15.
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* Getting to Slyudyanka from Irkutsk is possible by either marshrutka or eletrichka and takes at least 2.5 hours. If consulting the [http://pass.rzd.ru/main-pass/public/en Russian Railways website], eletrichkas are the trains whose ticket price is not shown (because it's not possible to buy them online). Tickets cost 83 roubles aboard (one-way, October 2013). Inquire for a route Irkutsk/Baikal and click on "routes with changes" ("Маршруты с пересадками") for obtaining connection suggestions.
  
Summing up the connection timetables it will need another day for the round journey.
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* From Port Baikal, most tourists cross the Angara river towards Listvianka. Apart form summer season, the Matanya train usually arrives after the departure of the last [http://www.vsrp.ru/passengers/trips/baikal-rogatka/ ferry to port Rogatka] (49 roubles one-way, October 2013), but it's possible to cross on private boats paying about 500 roubles pp. There is a new and clean hotel/hostel/museum (restaurant closed outside season) in front of the Matanya last stop, cheapest dorm costs 450 roubles for a 10h-stay, and in summer private accommodation abounds.
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* The Port Baikal/Listvianka ferry deserves the Rogatka port, 5km west of the main Listvianka settlement (which has another bigger port). If arriving in Rogatka with the first ferry on the wee hours, either join the locals waiting for a minibus to the main settlement or find shelter on the Hotel Baikal's teahouse, which offers breakfast menus for 190 roubles (October 2013) and affords stunning views of Lake Baikal. Go uphill past the Lake Baikal Museum. Reception has wifi.
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Summing up the connection timetables, it is usually necessary to overnight either in Port Baikal or Listvianka to complete the round journey from/to Irkutsk.
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Please note train #6202 (Port Baikal/Slyudyanka) travels overnight and is therefore not interesting for sightseeing.
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==Get around==
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Download free app 2Gis for a comprehensive coverage on maps, transport routes and business directory. The Irkutsk map includes all the Circum-Baikal region. It works offline.
  
 
==Fees==
 
==Fees==
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
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These are major stops as follow:
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*Slyudyanka, its station building is covered with white and pink marble.
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*Staraya Angasolka - small village and viaduc.
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*Mys Stolby
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*Kirkirey
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*Polovinny, the location of the shortest and the longest tunnels.
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*Shumikha, you can get out and see valleys of two rivers and Italian wall.
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*Port Baikal located on the cape Baranchik, and has early XXth century lighthouse.
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==

Revision as of 16:42, 30 October 2013

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Circum-Baikal Railway is a railroad on the western shore of the Baikal mostly for tourist purposes.[1]

Contents

Understand

Circum-Baikal Railway (interactive map)

89-km–long route from Slyudyanka-2 to port Baikal is a great opportunity to enjoy the changing views of the lake as the train rides along the shoreline from south to north and back. You will pass through 39 tunnels making several 20 min stops to take a stroll outside.[2]. Before World War II Trans-Siberia trains from Irkutsk was following Angara river reaching Port Baikal and then going at lake coast to Sludyanka. In late 40s. Line from Irkutsk to Port Baikal was dismantled and traffic was moved to mountain road through Bolshoy Lug, making Circum Baikal dead-end railway.

Get in

  • By Circum-Baikal Express, Кругобайкальский экспресс (season only) which departs from Irkutsk. It comprises 1st, 2nd and business-class carriages which are rather relaxing. You can hear the music, listen to the guide or sit at the bar. The ticket usually is being bought at tour agencies as excursions. The train starts from Irkutsk on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8:00am or from the port Baikal on Thursdays and Sundays. The trip takes about 12-13 hours including stops for a walk. The time of return to Irkutsk is 21:00-22:00.

It is possible to travel independently using local transport at any time of the year, as train #6201 Matanya assures the connection between Slyudyanka 1 (Слюдянка 1) and Port Baikal (Байкал) through the Circumbaikal Railway. Updated timetables are available online from the Russian Railways website. As with any local train, it's not possible to buy tickets online, but they can be bought aboard for 67 roubles (one-way, October 2013).

Matanya is now a comfortable, hi-tech looking red train, but as other local trains, it has no food for sale aboard and no hot-water dispenser. The stops are not long enough to alight and, outside of season, there are no food sellers on the plataforms, so pack your lunch and don't rely on instant noodles.

  • Getting to Slyudyanka from Irkutsk is possible by either marshrutka or eletrichka and takes at least 2.5 hours. If consulting the Russian Railways website, eletrichkas are the trains whose ticket price is not shown (because it's not possible to buy them online). Tickets cost 83 roubles aboard (one-way, October 2013). Inquire for a route Irkutsk/Baikal and click on "routes with changes" ("Маршруты с пересадками") for obtaining connection suggestions.
  • From Port Baikal, most tourists cross the Angara river towards Listvianka. Apart form summer season, the Matanya train usually arrives after the departure of the last ferry to port Rogatka (49 roubles one-way, October 2013), but it's possible to cross on private boats paying about 500 roubles pp. There is a new and clean hotel/hostel/museum (restaurant closed outside season) in front of the Matanya last stop, cheapest dorm costs 450 roubles for a 10h-stay, and in summer private accommodation abounds.
  • The Port Baikal/Listvianka ferry deserves the Rogatka port, 5km west of the main Listvianka settlement (which has another bigger port). If arriving in Rogatka with the first ferry on the wee hours, either join the locals waiting for a minibus to the main settlement or find shelter on the Hotel Baikal's teahouse, which offers breakfast menus for 190 roubles (October 2013) and affords stunning views of Lake Baikal. Go uphill past the Lake Baikal Museum. Reception has wifi.

Summing up the connection timetables, it is usually necessary to overnight either in Port Baikal or Listvianka to complete the round journey from/to Irkutsk.

Please note train #6202 (Port Baikal/Slyudyanka) travels overnight and is therefore not interesting for sightseeing.

Get around

Download free app 2Gis for a comprehensive coverage on maps, transport routes and business directory. The Irkutsk map includes all the Circum-Baikal region. It works offline.

Fees

See

These are major stops as follow:

  • Slyudyanka, its station building is covered with white and pink marble.
  • Staraya Angasolka - small village and viaduc.
  • Mys Stolby
  • Kirkirey
  • Polovinny, the location of the shortest and the longest tunnels.
  • Shumikha, you can get out and see valleys of two rivers and Italian wall.
  • Port Baikal located on the cape Baranchik, and has early XXth century lighthouse.

Do

Buy

Eat

It's important that food stores are scarce on the railway, so take something with you or use the bar.

Drink

Stay safe

Get out


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