Yearly Archives: 2017

Interchange stations on Soviet metro systems

Interchange stations on Soviet designed metro systems are a little odd for anyone accustomed to urban rail networks elsewhere in the world – the platforms for each line are treated as their own station, with their own street entrance, and … Continue reading

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Inspecting the overhead wires on the Ukrainian Railways

As I travelled across Ukraine by train I noticed a few complicated looking contraptions parked in sidings along the way. With a small platform at the end of a scissor lift, these railcars are used to inspect and repair the overhead wires that power electric trains.

Ukrainian Railways track machine for accessing the overhead wires Continue reading

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Animal themed trains of Europe

Trains named for cute animals – during my time in Europe, I found two rail operators who did just that.


Photo via the-village.ru Continue reading

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Germany’s one woman freight railway

Across Germany there are many small rail freight operators, but there are none smaller than ‘Rail 4U’ – a one-woman operation founded by Barbara Pirch in 2001.


Photo by Rail 4U Continue reading

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Funding Russia’s suburban commuter train routes

I’ve written about the three tiers of Russian rail service before – and today I am looking at the middle tier of suburban trains. Known as электри́чка (Elektrichka), they run along tracks shared with freight and long distance passenger services, … Continue reading

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Shower and laundry trains for the Russian army

Sitting, dining and sleeping carriages are a common sight around the world. But in Russia the army operates a special type of train – the банно-прачечный дезинфекционный поезд (БПДП). Translated to English, that is the “bath and laundry disinfection train” or “bath on wheels”.

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Moving a nuclear reactor by rail

Plenty of freight is moved by rail, but something you don’t expect to see being moved by train is a nuclear reactor. But in 2016 it did – when the 330 tonne, 13-metre high and 4.5 meters diameter nuclear reactor vessel was transported from the Atommash plant in Volgodonsk, Russia to the under construction Belarusian nuclear power plant.


Photo via Belarus.by Continue reading

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Russia’s three tiers of rail services

Historically the USSR was served by three tiers of rail services: metro, suburban, and long distance. Each operated with a distinct style of rolling stock, even 20 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, these three families of train are still visible today across Russia.

Moscow Metro train paralleling the mainline railway outside Киевский вокзал (Kievskiy vokzal) Continue reading

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Russian strip clubs

On my travels across Russia I stumbled upon many things – strip clubs being one of them. This sex shop featured sperm in their logo. But this sign for ‘VD One’ was just a clothing store.

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Riding the Kiev Funicular

Funicular railways seem to be quite common in European cities, and the Ukranian capital is no different. The Kiev Funicular is a 238 meter long railway opened in 1905 that links the top and bottom of a hill. Here is … Continue reading

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