FAQs about the Trans Siberian railway

The Trans Siberian rail journey is perhaps the most famous rail journey in the world. Stretching almost the breadth of Russia, it is also among the longest. If you're thinking about making the trip, you probably have lots of questions. Here are the answers to some of the most common.

Do I need to book a ticket on the Trans Siberian?

It is possible to book the journey in advance through a travel agent or online retailer. However many travellers choose to hop on and hop off along the route, buying tickets as they go (separate legs are required for each stop). You should book the next leg as soon as you get off the train as it's not uncommon for seats/cabins to sell out.

How do you shower?

There are showers in some of the higher class cabins, but most travellers make do with a rubber pipe attached to the washbasin. The rubber pipes are supplied by inspectors.

Are there luggage limits?

Yes, but they are quite generous. Plackarta and kupe classes can take 36kg and sw-lux and VIP classes can take 50kg.

What about food?

The train will have a dining car but it's expensive and not of a great standard. Platform vendors sell noodles, fruit, snacks, beverages and occasionally cooked meals and roast chicken. Check the train timetable before you bounce off.

Is it safe?

Provided you exercise appropriate caution, you're unlikely to face any serious dangers on the Trans Siberian railway. Attendants keep a close eye on what is happening in their area and cabins can be locked from the inside.

What should I pack for the Trans Siberian?

The trains are very well (possible too well heated) so you'll need both cold weather gear for outdoors and light, comfortable clothing for indoors. A good phrasebook, towel, pocket knife and a couple of spare water bottles will also help to make your journey more comfortable.

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