Step inside my Trans Mongolian train

If you want to get an impression of what my train castle on the Trans Mongolian train trip looked like, please step inside.

This was our sleeping compartment. This picture is taken towards the window. You can see the 2 blue beds on the lower level, in day time we used those as sofa’s to sit, hang, lay, read, write and eat on. In the night time my room mate made the climb to our first floor, where there are 2 more beds. I stayed on this floor and turned the right sofa into my bed. On the right : Parade’s End, which was tougher to read than I thought, but I managed to read most of it.

A little bit closer look. On the right there was the volume loud speaker turning wheel. We had no idea what that was for, until we one morning woke up with beautiful Chinese music blasting the sleep out of our ears. That was Lee, our carriage attendantr who loved music and wanted to share it. There are reading lights above every bed, and we never ever found out what the switch on the left (above the reading light) was for. On the table a small collection of eatables. And the inscription on the mug :
I can resist everything except temptation – Oscar Wilde

which I thought was a rather appropriate quote, as I can resist everything except temptation.

It wasn’t my mug, I had forgotten to take a mug with me and lend a disposable green plastic cup from a friendly neighbour Brit. It has survived the whole trip.

The corridor at a quiet time of the day. This was a nice place to hang around and talk to fellow train travellers. Or just to stretch your legs a bit and watch the world go by from the other side of the train.

The most important part of our wagon. The hot water machine! I know that it looks like something created by Gyro Gearloose, the famous inventor and friend of Donald Duck, but it worked wonders, and was a vital part of our trip as it delivered the hot water for our Yorkshire tea!

And believe it or not this ingenious water cooker wonder got powered by this! Coal got loaded on the train on regular intervals to give us hot water and heating in our compartments.

A picture taken with my back to the window.

And a view of the snow white emptiness of Siberia. Not bad eh, to lay on your personal blue sofa looking out of the window.

Update: Here is the train that pulled us

11 thoughts to “Step inside my Trans Mongolian train”

  1. Wow!! Siberia out of the window, I envy your travel courage.
    Don’t think I could ever get up to those top bunks (or stay there) but it does look cosy as long as you are sharing with nice people!
    How long exactly where you on the train?

  2. How long was I on this train, well – long. You have to set your mind to a long long travel when boarding this train. I stepped in Tuesday at 21.30 and stepped out on Monday at 14.30, 6 days, about 7700 km and 5 timezones later.

    If we had been 4 people in our compartment all the time, I think it would have been a less relaxing affair. Now we had 2 beds each, on for stuff, and one to sleep on. It was a very luxury position to be in, we were very lucky. And yes nice people is very important as well, I was lucky there too.

  3. Thanks for taking me on a tour of your train. What a wonderful trip that must have been – Siberia resembles the Saskatchewan countryside in winter… brr…

  4. the picture of the Siberian expanse is inspriratyional for some reason…it leaves a certain emptiness and uneasy peace in the pit of my stomach…I’ll try figure out why!

  5. Ingrid! Bravo on the tour blog and the photos. The Mongolian soldier is striking. I’m a train fan, so thank you for the engine and wagon photos.

  6. What a wonderful blog and a wonderful trip. Was your compartment considered a hard sleeper or a soft sleeper?

  7. Hi Diane, I am not sure what they considered it, we considered it a semi hard sleeper, but that was easily solved because there was a stack of blankets available which we used to soften it up. I have really slept very well on those beds.

  8. Nice pictures! I was just wondering what you did for food on the train. Was in included in your ticket, or did you pay for each meal as you went?

  9. @Steve: I ate on the train a few times, it’s not too expensive but the food isn’t great. We bought food from the people selling food on the stations as we stopped. They were waiting for our train and had a lot of food available. Very cheap, nice food. There is no food included in the train ticket.

  10. hey ingrid, what about your basics, hot water for tea/coffe for example, was that available and your ablution facilities, how was this organised. shower facilities available or not? it all sounds so exciting , must of been quite an adventure, i am sure it was an experience you will never forget!

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