Taking the train from London to Mongolia

May 9th, 2012, 07:25 PM
  #1  
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Taking the train from London to Mongolia

Hi. I want to take the train from London to Mongolia. I am looking for information on the best routes (should i go to Paris then on to Moscow, or to Cologne or somewhere else before going to Moscow), which tickets to buy (for instance, should I get a sleeper car and if so what capacity, i am not opposed to sharing a cabin), and sites to see alone the way.
chatchaat is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 07:45 PM
  #2  
 
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marking for later comment
PalenQ is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 08:22 PM
  #3  
 
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I can't imagine spending that much time on a train just to get somewhere. It's approximately, 5,800 miles, as the crow flies. Trains don't follow crows.

Not a clue as to how to get to Mongolia. You could fly to Moscow via BMI airlines, they seem the least expensive.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 09:19 PM
  #4  
 
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Google Trans-Siberian Railroad.

And fly to Moscow.
BigRuss is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 11:28 PM
  #6  
 
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No reason to fly to Moscow. Back in 2004 I traveled by train from Scotland (Kyle of Lochalsh) to Saigon. Admittedly I spent seven months doing it - see http://wilhelmswords.com/rtw2004/index.html - but it was a good trip, and included the Trans-Mongolian (not Trans-Siberian, that goes to Vladivostok).

Do check seat61.com for the best current routes, the route I took involved a Vilnius to St. Petersburg train that no longer runs.

I would certainly plan on sleepers, or at least couchettes, in western Europe. Second class on the Russian train - four people to a compartment - was fine.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 11:57 PM
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the seat61 site is probably the best recommendation.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 04:11 AM
  #8  
 
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My friend Kate went to Moscow a few years back and her brother Jamie is headed there as we speak. They left some tips on how to get from London to Russia here:

http://loco2.com/engine-room-forum/f...ssia-to-london

http://loco2.com/engine-room-forum/r...orums_post_344

From Moscow you can pick up the Trans-Siberian railway or the Trans-Mongolian railway. Real Russia is an agency Kate used before for this:

http://www.realrussia.co.uk/

As Seat 61 says, flying to Moscow to pick up the Trans-Siberian Railway is like entering a marathon then accepting a lift in someone's car for the first mile... Don't cheat! hehe
Loco2 is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 05:45 AM
  #9  
 
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I've taken the Trans-Siberian once and never twice - BORING scenery like upper Michigan the whole way - well not that beatiful - scrubland.
PalenQ is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 06:36 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi cc,

>I want to take the train from London to Mongolia.<

Now that it is daylight, do you still want to go?

ira is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 08:29 AM
  #11  
 
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I suppose that if you stayed on the train the whole way the scenery could get boring, I found the train a soothing interlude betwen stops. Plus there are plenty of people on board if you want to interact. I traveled in the fall, and the trees in Siberia were a lovely mix of gold and green. I would LIKE to ride it again in the winter and see Siberia with snow.

I'm with loco and seat61, go as far as you have time for by train (I'm in the middle of doing North America by train, west on Amtrak and east on ViaRail). I used Passport Travel in Australia for my Russia support, but there are several agencies. Look for the Russia sticky on Lonely Planet's thorntree. And don't neglect the visa issue.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 11:28 AM
  #12  
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Hi, thanks all for the responses.

My plan is to fly to London, then take the train to Moscow and eastward from there. I am looking for routes that are or can be scenic (trees, mountains, rivers,etc) and have stops with sites to see and local culture to explore.

From London should I take the route through Paris and Cologne or a more northern route (Brussels, Stockholm, etc)? And from Moscow will the Mongolian route or the Vladivostok route offer more scenery and cool little towns and villages at the stops?

I have a current American passport. Is that good enough or do I need to get visas as well?
chatchaat is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 05:35 PM
  #13  
 
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You absolutely need a visa for Russia, and for China. Also for Belarus if your train route goes that way. US citizens don't need visas for Mongolia. See http://www.waytorussia.net/

Personally I'd take Paris over Brussels any day, but you need to check what trains still go into Russia aside for the one from Helsinki.

Strongly suggest that you read the Lonely Planet and Trailblazer guides to the Trans-Siberian since you appear not to know what to expect. Cool little towns and villages are not exactly on the menu. Run down villages and somewhat interesting towns - Ekaterinburg and Irkutsk for instance. Read my TR linked above as well.

You have a lot of research to do.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 06:10 PM
  #14  
 
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You need to do a lot of research to sort this out. You will be on many different trains and some routes do NOT have overnight trains - and you will have to stop at some hotels along the way. (Assume you will be doing that anyway.)

It would help a lot if you let people know how many weeks you have for this trip - so they can make recos on routes and stops.

In this area we have traveled by train only from St Pet to Helsinki - and it was really boring - nothing to look at the entire way. I either slept or read. I have a friend who did the trans-Siberian from Moscow to Vladivostock - and she said she was happy she had done it - since she didn;t have to do it again. (Also said it was a lot of scrubland - nothing like the beauties of the Alps or the quaintness of much of central europe.)
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