Siberian Express Dreams

Russia, Siberia, Mongolia and China, late December, 2014. Part 7: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. Like much of travel everywhere, people were the best part. People were the best part. Although each party had their own cabin and while plenty of time was spent sprawled out reading or listening to music, most people seemed to…

Siberian Express Dreams

Russia, Siberia, Mongolia and China, late December, 2014. Part 6: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. With eight nights and seven days on board, we had to eat. Eating aboard the trains wasn’t our first concern. Dining cars are generally available (more on this later) but many of the passengers, especially the Russians and younger Europeans…

Siberian Express Dreams

Siberia, Russia and beyond, late December, 2014. Part 5: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. We were on board for many things, but principally we were there for the ride. We were there for the ride. Our travel across Russia and Mongolia to Beijing, China took 10 days, departing on the night of December 20th and…

Siberian Express Dreams

Siberia, Russia, late December, 2014. Part 4: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. I didn’t know how much we would depend on our provinistas. Before we could board the train in Moscow, we stood in line as the “provinista”, usually a woman on the Russian and Mongolian trains, men on the Chinese one, collected and verified…

Siberian Express Dreams

Russia, east of the Urals onward, December, 2014. Part 3: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real . . . but what would Siberian Express dreams life aboard be like? There are frequently three different classes of cars on the train. There’s little difference between the first and second class cabins except there are two beds in…

Siberian Dreams

Out of Moscow, Russia, December 21, 2014. Part 2: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. But there is no Siberian Express or there are several–none of which are the antique train show above which I saw parked next to a depot. There really isn’t a Siberian Express, or there are several, depending on how you look…

Travel blog train in Mexico

Train on the Plain. There was a golden age of passenger train travel in Mexico. As long distance passenger train travel faded in the States, much of the rolling stock migrated to Mexico. I learned many of the tricks of Mexican train travel bit by bit, trip after trip. I found out 36-hour trips were much easier, and still affordable, with a reserved private room for two in a Pullman car, often equipped with a small bathroom, and always with a sofa to stretch out on, an easy…

May 29 – June 1, 2014 I’m aboard The Empire Builder. Think of that name! The Roman Empire. The Empire of Genghis Khan. The British Empire. The Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Nazi Germany Empire of the Third Reich. Some of them didn’t turn out so well. But we got our own train! The Amtrak Empire Builder. This is Amtrak’s Empire Builder train, leaving Chicago every day for Seattle 2264 miles away while each day in Seattle a twin Empire Builder leaves for Chicago. Which means there are two Empire…