Your longest ever rail journey

Discussion in 'Rail options & offers' started by tommyl, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. tommyl

    tommyl Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yes I am starting this thread to boast slightly (or show myself up for the massive travel nerd that I clearly am), but I am also genuinely interested in whether anyone else on this forum, as presumably "aeroplane-focused" as you all are, has done any epic rail journeys.

    Mine was London St Pancras to Beijing: London-Brussels-Poznan-Sopot (where I got married)-Warsaw-Minsk-Moscow-Ekaterinberg-Novosibirsk-variousbitsofSiberia-Irkustsk-Ulan Bataar-Beijing. It was a truly fantastic journey to say the least, thoroughly recommended.

    [​IMG]

    And if you're wondering, I flew back to London from Beijing with BA, using Avios.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  2. GnarlyOldGoatDude

    GnarlyOldGoatDude Active Member

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    Rail commuter here...
    Genuine long journeys, or can we include those that feel like they last forever?

    For long journeys, I've got nothing much. Nuremberg-Vilshofen (where my sister was living)-Linz-Vienna-Prague-Železná Ruda/Bayerisch Eisenstein-Deggendorf-Vilshofen-Nuremberg.

    A more interesting one was the British Military "Berliner" train. In 1985, my father and I travelled on normal West German trains from the Ruhr to Hannover and then to Braunschweig, from where we caught the "Berliner".

    This was a very strange affair. As documented here,

    Although nominally nonstop, the Berlin bound train stopped in Helmstedt to change engines between the West and East German Railway systems and carry out frontier documentation.There was a lengthy stop in Marienborn (the first station in East Germany) with an exchange of documentation with the Russian Authorities and a detailed external check including the use of dogs by the East German Border Guards (to ostensibly prevent smuggling of goods or refugees). There was then a brief stop in Magdeburg for operating reasons (the former double track onwards to Berlin had been singled at the time of the Blockade). The train stopped again in the Potsdam area for a further detailed search by the East German Border Guards before crossing into West Berlin at Wannsee and terminating in Charlottenburg. A similar routine was followed during the outward/westbound journey.

    The Russian exchange always stuck in my mind. A Soviet Officer would march onto the train, be met by the British Officer in charge of the train. The Brit would have a package of all of our documents. Together they would march off the train into a building at the station. Some 30-45 minutes later, they would return, the documents would be handed back, salutes made, Soviets leave and we continue our journey.

    My assumption, as a twelve year old, was that important, in-depth analysis was taking place of the passenger's documents. I later found out from a work colleague who had previously been one of those British Officers that the majority of the time taken in station buildings was taken up by drinking alcohol. The Brits brought Whisky, the Russians, Vodka. The length of time taken did not reflect on the passenger manifest, but rather how much fun the comrades were having.

    So much for the cold war!
     
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