Circum-Baikal railway

A trip to the old Transsibirian Railway between Kultuk and Port Baikal is maybe the best choice for a one day trip because this tour finally gives you the possibility for a short walk – outside the town - along the shore of Lake Baikal.

We can recommend a journey with the commuter train (the elektritshka) to Andrianovskaja or, for all who want to walk only a short loop, to Angasolka.

From the stop (watch out there is no platform!!) in Andrianovskaja, you will detect a small path leading you down into the valley, which finally gets you to the railway line. Already after a few meters you should discover a small brook, follow it for about 3 miles into the village of Staraya Angasolka. The little fishermen village is situated directly beside the old Transsib Railway and therefore at Lake Baikal. A small Russian Turbasa (a simple hotel with dorm rooms) even offers a place to stay overnight.

From Staraya Angasolka the road leads another two and a half miles along the shore of Lake Baikal. Even so it might sometimes be a little exhausting to walk along the old rails you will get an impression of why this is the most expensive part of the old Transibirian Railway. Many tunnels, bridges and viaducts accompany you along the way to Kultuk. But watch out for trains, because the railway is still in use, normally only once in the morning and once in the evening.

In Kultuk you have to make the difficult choice of either taking the bus, marshrutka or elektritshka back to Irkutsk. Admittedly, the train station in Kultuk is a little difficult to find. Alternatively, you can of course walk all the way to Sludyanka, but this route can only be recommended in winter, right across the frozen lake.

If you get off in Angasolka, the road will lead through the whole village down to the valley. From here a steep, at the beginning a little swampy path leads up to the railway of the Transsib (Be Careful! Trains are departing in short intervals.) and further up to the crest. From this point you can already see Lake Baikal and the village Kultuk.


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30 Jan 2006

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