One of the world’s most famous railway journeys can now be enjoyed sitting behind a computer. Google has teamed up with Russian Railways to provide 150 hours of footage across some of the most spectacular and untouched terrain on the planet on a new website. The Trans-Siberian railway journey has often been mooted as one of the most appealing and fascinating to be enjoyed. Siberia indeed has its industrial parts but the urban areas do not interest travelers anything like as much as nature. The train passengers are treated to masses of wilderness, superb forests, the Russian Taiga and Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world.
The train travels for a full day along the side of the lake. There are, however, a few problems with the journey. One must firstly consider breaking the Russian visa barrier and getting to places where Westerners are not always welcome. There is also the time factor as the journey covers 7 time zones. However, thanks to Russian Railways teaming up with Google, tourists can now travel online and enjoy the journey from the comfort of their couch.
Through a new website, travelers can explore 12 regions of East Russia and 87 villages in the warmth of their own home and at any time they like.
The Trans-Siberian rail route, leading from Moscow to the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on Russia"s Pacific coast can be tracked with maps and YouTube videos. After a few clicks on the video site, visitors can experience the Red Line in Krasnoyarsk, the weapons factories in Perm, virtually walk in Yekaterinburg and experience the fantastic moment when the Baikal first appears in front of the train. The moment is normally met by a shot of vodka on the Russian trains so this habit needs a little improvisation in the home environment. Perhaps the gastronomic delights and tasting of local specialties are not available, yet the visible elements of the Trans-Siberian railway journey are now online and in full version.