The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest stretch of railway in the world. The epic 9226 km journey covers 1/3rd of the planet, 7 time zones, 2 continents, 12 regions and 87 cities.
Now Google, in partnership with the Russian Railways has brought this journey to your desktop. By clicking on the map you can view any section of the route on video – shot from the window of the train as it moves through the Russian countryside.
You can jump ahead to key beauty-spots on the map, such as Lake Baikal, the Barabinskaya steppe and the immense Zeisko-Bureinskaya plain. See dawn break over the Zeya river. At key points on the journey you can tour towns, with the presenter Yelena Abitayeva. Also scattered along the route are spectacular pictures of Russian landscapes from the photographer Anton Lange.
There is over 150 hours of footage in the project so you probably don’t want to watch it all in the one sitting. For entertainment the project provides an audio-book of the appropriately epic “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy but unfortunately this is only in Russian. The balalaika music on offer needs no translation but the radio option is more likely soundtrack to the journey.
“This project was very special for us”, Konstantine Kuzmin, Marketing Director for Google Russia was quoted in The Moscow Times. “We want to demonstrate how unusual and fascinating Russia really is and how much is can offer to a devoted tourist. We hope this project will become the starting point not only for virtual but also for real trips across Russia.”