December 28, 2013


Greetings from a white and wintery Omsk!

Another crew in and more coal on board to see us through to this evening’s stop at Novosibirsk. It is still snowing, so it can’t be as cold as I thought it was. We are getting huge accumulations of ice under the train that needs clearing each time we stop – otherwise things like the drains, the water tanks and the brakes freeze up. The solution is to whack the bogies hard with a big metal rod and then pour boiling water on the drain pipe..

If you saw my post from the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow the other day, you may have seen my discovery that Russian railways were (or perhaps still are) one of the methods for moving and deploying ICBM’s around the place, in order to keep them safe and secret. Well I have to tell you that I’m quite suspicious of the “mail train” on platform 2 – it looks a bit too military to me!

The shopping opportunities here at Omsk are limited, and there isn’t much possibility of a chat about the price of fish, but at least a chance to stock up on tobacco and Pot Potatoes..!

I’m really losing track of time and even which day it is. I think this is quite a liberating feeling as you can just settle into the routine of train time. My fag packet calculations suggest I have covered about 5000 km – I would know this more accurately if I had the guide book with me. I will work it out properly from Novosibirsk tonight, the capital of Siberia.

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