From Mountain View to Vladivostok
February 17, 2010 11:32 AM   Subscribe

"The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the Russian Railways lets you take a trip along the famous route and see Baikal, Khekhtsirsky range, Barguzin mountains, Yenisei river and many other picturesque places of Russia without leaving your house." posted by dhammond (18 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome. I know how I'll be spending the last 2 hours of my work day.
posted by elizardbits at 11:54 AM on February 17, 2010

Related: a free, downloadable 7 ½-hour HD video of a trans-Norway train route, the Bergen Line. Fjords, snow, all the good stuff.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 11:56 AM on February 17, 2010

I've been pining for the fjords.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:58 AM on February 17, 2010

Henry Rollins did the Trans Siberian Railway for fun and talks about it.
posted by starman at 12:01 PM on February 17, 2010

Ah, I had forgotten that the Bergen train was already featured on MeFi. Great stuff.
posted by dhammond at 12:01 PM on February 17, 2010

Their Christmas albums suck. I mean, they're no Mannheim Steamroller.

posted by sourwookie at 12:24 PM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

Oh, this is awesome. And well timed too, as I just saw this decent suspense movie just a couple days ago.
posted by GeekAnimator at 12:32 PM on February 17, 2010

Having taken the train ride in question, I can attest to its awesomeness. If you haven't, you really should.
posted by flippant at 12:52 PM on February 17, 2010

Should have left-side view next to right-side view, synched.
posted by lathrop at 12:57 PM on February 17, 2010

This two-part article in New Yorker (you need to subscribe to the digital edition) covers a trip taken across Russia, partially on the Trans-Siberian railway, which reached its conclusion at the Pacific coast of Russia, on September 11, 2001.

A great read.
posted by Danf at 1:06 PM on February 17, 2010

This could only be improved in realism by having Henry Rollins vomiting next to you.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:53 PM on February 17, 2010

Terrific, thanks!
posted by languagehat at 2:12 PM on February 17, 2010

Is there borscht served?
posted by elder18 at 2:13 PM on February 17, 2010

Is there borscht served?

I rode it years and years ago. Yes, there is "borscht" served, although "borscht" was just a generic word for soup. It involved some kind of meat as I recall.

The dining cars also served "caviar" -- orange roe on buttered bread. Also very good tea.

Even though it was still the USSR, the food was really quite good. At least in the cars reserved for foreigners foreign currency.
posted by PlusDistance at 5:40 PM on February 17, 2010

I recommend putting the 'Rumble of the Wheels' track for videos of the train entering or leaving stations and the music tracks for the scenery. Baikal's the best of course, but videos of the train pulling into Tyumen are unexpectedly awesome; Soviet industrial urban decay with a orange-peach backdrop and a Matrix-like slow-mo. Magical.

Google's (or's) obvious Russophilia shows through this app. Which is not a bad thing; very few better ways than cherishing a land and its people than by a train journey. What is unexpected, though, is how the same company is also pitching itself to be at the vanguard of American softpower, in terms of innovation and even free-speech; could an IBM ever produce a video-game in the 70's celebrating the Volga, the Ob or Novosiberisk?
posted by the cydonian at 7:20 PM on February 17, 2010

what...what should I do if I want to leave my house?

kidding, kidding...

dhammond, this is delish! (and this is the question I always win on in Trivial Pursuit)
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:53 PM on February 17, 2010

Planning on taking this trip this summer, hopefully preceded by a container ship across the sea. Slow travel here I come. This vid will be a good preview...
posted by radiocontrolled at 9:54 PM on February 17, 2010

Absolutely amazing! I just spent the better part of two hours touring Russia by train. Thanks for the post.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 11:29 PM on February 17, 2010

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