Join our Circum-Baikal Railway tours:
Circum-Baikal Railway tour. Spend a day in a comfortable train moving along Lake Baikal shore by the Old railroad through numerous tunnels and bridges built during Tsarist Russia in 1902-1904 and enjoying stunning landscapes and views.
On the Baikal Helicopter tour, you will see the unforgettable Baikal landscapes and the Circum-Baikal railway from a bird’s-eye view.
Take a tour by hovercraft and enjoy winter views of the Circum-Baikal Railway from its warm and comfortable cabin.
Whatever route of the Full-day snowmobile tour you choose, either through taiga or over the frozen surface of the lake, make sure you’ve got your camera with you because the views are breathtaking!
Book the Dogsled Tour along the Circum-Baikal Railway and enjoy working with powerful Baikal huskies, the beauty of the Baikal’s winter nature and the architectural monuments of the Circum-Baikal Railway.
Walk through the old tunnels and visit the most significant structures of the famous Railway with the Baikal Railway Walking Tour.
The Circum-Baikal Railway is truly the main Baikal man-made landmark. This unique achievement in architecture and engineering is a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of the most beautiful Pribaikal’s places.
Russian, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Albanian engineers had been constructing the longest and the most eye-filling Russian railroad from 1896 till 1900. In two years and three months, they constructed 39 tunnels, 16 stone galleries, 248 bridges, and loads of viaducts.
The railroad runs along the western shore of the Baikal Lake, starting from the bank of the Angara River and going up to the Mysovaya station. Nowadays, the Circum-Baikal Railway consists of a section running from Slydanka-2 station to the Baikal station with 4 stations, 1 passing place, 38 tunnels, and 16 stone galleries. 84 kilometers from the Baikal station to the Kultuk station are considered as a monument of architecture.
The longest tunnel through the cape Polovinnyi has a length of 777,5 meters. Travelling across the Circum-Baikal Railway, you will pass along the shore, overlooking the Baikal Lake, enjoy the stunning nature, and take great photos.
You can visit the Circum-Baikal Railway at any time of the year. In winter, apart from the train journey, you can visit the Circum-Baikal Railway travelling by amphibious air-cushion boat “Khivous”, dog sledges, or snowmobiles. Walk through the old tunnels and visit the most significant structures of the famous Railway with the Baikal Railway Walking Tour. For those who choose unusual ways to travel, there is a helicopter tour that allows seeing the Railway from the bird’s-eye view.
You can take a 1-day trip on the Circum-Baikal Express that comprises first and second class carriages. There are two kinds of the tour depending on the day of the week.
The tour starts in Irkutsk at the Railway station or the bus stop next to the Drama Theatre. You have to arrive at the departure point 20-30 minutes before the boarding and wait for the train/bus to arrive. For convenience, print out “Кругобайкальский Экспресс sign, the staff will tell you the directions or look for the staff with the same sign. The train moves by the old Circum-Baikal railroad. Usually, the ticket price depends on the class of the carriage and varies from 6000 – 7000 for the 1st class carriage.
Main Stations of the Circum-Baikal Railway
149 km. Staraya Angasolka. The section with the most complex engineering and architecture objects starts here. The beauty and the strength of the arc-shaped viaduct “Angasolskiy” are impressive.
130 km. Shabartuisk artificial construction complex consists of a roadway above the iron bridge and a double-span arc-shaped reinforced concrete viaduct.
123 km. Kirkirei Complex is a mysterious and stunning place. This section was really painful for the constructors. Constant landslides and the uncontrollable River Kirkirey forced them to make one extra tunnel.
110 km. Polovinnya Valley is one of the most popular tourist attractions. The beautiful river valley is located between the Cliff Chaikin and the Cape Polovinnyi. Two tunnels, the shortest and the longest, pass through the cape.
102 km. Italian protecting wall is one of the most beautiful places of the Circum-Baikal railroad. Italian architect Ferrari carried out the project. The stone gallery “Bolshaya Shymikhinskaya” is also situated in this section. It was constructed as a protector from the stone fall but has not been used for a while.
98 km. Khvoinaya Station (Ulanovo) is the only station that was eliminated when the section was transformed into a stub ended tracks. You can observe parts of the facilities, such as the old building’s basements.
The train’s average speed is 20-30 km/h, so you will be able to enjoy the beauty of the lake to the fullest. The stops in the most interesting places (up to 1 hour) will give you the possibility to take a walk.
The cheapest option of the Circum-Baikal Railway
If you want to organize a trip with stayovers in the main stations of the Circum-Baikal Railway (eg in hotels or in a tent), choose another variant. Buy tickets for a suburban train “Irkutsk Pass – Slydyanka.” Once you arrive in Slydanka, buy tickets for a suburban train N6201/6202 “Motanya”. You can buy tickets at the station or right on the train. The ticket costs up to 100 Rub. Motanya train is the cheapest way to travel by the Circum-Baikal Railway. It goes to Port Baikal and back four times a week. It’s not a high-speed train, it takes six hours to overcome a 73 km distance! Also, it is not a tour, it is a mean of public transport, so you will have to read the directions and the signs. The stations are not announced on a loudspeaker. The key stations:
- 156 km Kultuk (Rus: Култук)
- 138 km Sharyzhalgai (Rus: Шарыжалгай)
- 119 km Maritui (Rus: Маритуй)
- 102 km Shumiha (Rus: Шумиха)
- 98 km Ulanovo (Rus: Уланово)
- 72 km Port Baikal (Rus: Порт Байкал)
“Motanya” train’s schedule 2020:
#6201 (Slydanka 1 – Port Baikal) – Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday. Departure 13:49, Arrival 18:43.
#6202 (Port Baikal – Slydanka 1) – Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday. Departure 03:02, Arrival 07:33.
Other Baikal attractions:
Experience the best of winter with our list of Top 10 Baikal winter activities.There are exciting and amazing things to experience in the Baikal area during wintertime.
Olkhon Island, one of the most beautiful and mysterious places of the Baikal, rich with wonderful nature sights.
Barguzinsky bay, the largest bay of the Baikal. The Baikal’s longest sand beach stretches 12.5 mi (20 km) along the bay.
Chivyrkuysky Bay, one of the most wildest and thinly populated areas of Lake Baikal.
Listvyanka is the best place to get to know the unique nature of the Baikal. This settlement is a starting point for many Baikal routes including the Circum-Baikal Railway.
Bolshiye Koty settlement, is located close to Irkutsk and Listvyanka, yet far enough to preserve the beauty of a landscape. One of the section of the Great Baikal Trail passes through the village.