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The Circum-Baikal Railway

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 the 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 the tour by hovercraft and enjoy winter views of the Circum-Baikal Railway from its warm and comfortable cabin.

Whatever rout of the Full-day snowmobile tour you choose, either through taiga or over 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 architecture monuments of the Circum-Baikal Railway.


 

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.

kirkirei Circum-Baikal Railway Russian, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Albanian engineers were constructing the longest and the most eye-filling Russian railroad from 1896 until 1900. In two years and three months, they constructed 39 tunnels, 16 stone galleries, 248 bridges, and 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 lasting from the 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. Traveling across the Circum-Baikal Railway, you will pass along the shore, overlook 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 train ride you can see the Circum-Baikal Railway traveling by amphibious air-cushion boat “Khivous”, dog sled, or snow vehicle. For those who choose unusual ways to travel, there is a helicopter tour that allows to see the Railway from the bird’s-eye view.

You can take a 1-day trip on the Circum-Baikal Express that comprises first, second, and third class carriages. There are two kinds of the tour depending on the day of the week. For more details follow the link. The tour starts in Irkutsk at the Railway station or the bus stop next the Drama Theatre.

Schedule of Circum-Baikal Railway tour and points of departure

Wednesday: at 06:48 from the railway station.
Thursday: at 09:30 from the Drama theatre*.
Friday: at 08:00 from the railway station.
Saturday: at 09:00 from the Drama* theatre.
Sunday: at 08:00 from the railway station.
Monday: at 07:00 from the Drama theatre*.

* – 14 Karl Marx str., Irkutsk (Rus: ул. Карла Маркса, 14)

You have to arrive at the departure point (the Irkutsk Railway Station or bus stop next the Drama theatre) 20 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. Normally, 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

Circum-Baikal Railway

Photo by scjody

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 iron bridge and a double-span arc-shaped reinforced concrete viaduct.

123 km. Kirkireiski 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 track.  You can observe parts of the facilities, such as 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 a possibility to take a walk.

 

The cheapest option of the Circum-Baikal Railway

Baikal views 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 public transport, so you will have to read the directions and the signs. The stations are not announced on the 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)

The last station is Port Baikal. There you can order a boat transfer to Listvyanka, follow the link to check the schedule. Besides, you can take a minibus to get back to Irkutsk.

“Motanya” train’s schedule:
#6201 (Slydanka 1 – Port Baikal) – Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday.
#6202 (Port Baikal – Slydanka 1) – Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday.




circum baikal railway retro train

Photo by Felix Dance

circum baikal railway

Photo by Felix Dance

 

 

 


Other Baikal attractions:

 

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.


 

 

 

10 thoughts on “The Circum-Baikal Railway

  1. Mirceaase

    Hello, could you tell me if Motanya train is available throughout the year? I intend to make a journey in these places on June next year. Thank you

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hello!
      Yes the train runs all year round. There is still no timetable for the next year. It will be announced in December-January.

      Reply
  2. Charis Tam

    I am interested to join Circum-Baikal Railway tours on 21 August (or 22 or 23 if there’s no train on the 21st) with my friend. Is that possible?

    Thanks,
    Charis

    Reply
  3. Abdul

    Hallo, I am from Czech republic and would like to take train on 28 or 29th July. Is there any connection, does not matter which direction?

    Thank you for response in advance. 🙂

    Abdul

    Reply
  4. Wilma Post

    I am from the Netherlands and I am interested in the Circum railway tour (with the steam locomotive) on august 1st for 2 people. Is that possible?
    At what time we will be back in Irkutst?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hello Wilma,

      We have responded to your email. If it don’t come, then check out you spam folder. Besides, check whether you wrote the correct email address.
      If you haven’t got the email, please contact us via clients@russiaeguide.com.

      Reply
  5. Anchalee Tanumonthon

    I am a guest from Thailand . I am interesting to join Circum-Baikal Railway tours on 7/5/2018
    for 2 peoples.
    Our hotel in Irkutsk. Hotel Victoria 5-7May. Ater finish trip we will visitting Listvyanka.

    Thanks,
    Anchalee

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi Anchalee!

      On May 7, 2018, there are no trains on the Circum-Baikal Railway.

      The closest tours are available on May 5-6, 2018.

      Reply

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