Tag Archives: winter

Clearing icicles from the streets of Moscow

Growing up in Australia, icicles are something I’ve never had to deal with. But over in Russia they are deadly serious for anyone standing below when they fall.

Deadly looking icicles hang from the eaves Continue reading

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Farewell to the Chernobyl sarcophagus

For thirty years Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant has lay beneath a massive steel and concrete sarcophagus, protecting the outside world from any further radioactive contamination following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. But 2016 has seen this iconic scene change forever, with the completion of the New Safe Confinement structure.

Standing 300 metres from the sarcophagus over Chernobyl reactor 4 Continue reading

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Icebreakers on the River Neva, Saint Petersburg

During cold Russian winters the River Neva through Saint Petersburg becomes covered with ice, with icebreakers required to keep the waterway open.

A few more chunks of ice to go Continue reading

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Churches of Nizhny Novgorod

One thing struck me when exploring the old town of the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod – just how many churches there were to see.

National Unity Square in Nizhny Novgorod Continue reading

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Inspection crews on the Russian Railways

On my way across Russia by train I spent hours staring out the window at the passing scenery, and in that time I found plenty of railway staff looking just as intently at the tracks.

Walking the tracks with a measuring gauge Continue reading

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Steam power and trains in modern Russia

Russia has a history of railway electrification dating back to the 1930s, leading to the retirement of their last steam locomotives by the 1970s. However the distinctive smell of burning coal has not disappeared from the Russian Railways – just take a walk down the platform at any railway station.

ЧС2Т class electric locomotive ЧС2Т 954 ready to lead our train out of Saint Petersburg Continue reading

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Leaking roof at Budapest Nyugati pályaudvar

Budapest’s Nyugati pályaudvar (western railway station) is one of three rail termini in the capital of Hungary, and to my eye the grandest. But something very inconvenient happens each time it rains.

Street side of Budapest-Nyugati pályaudvar Continue reading

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A flying visit to Rostov-on-Don

While headed from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, we had to change trains in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but we did find an interesting fried chicken shop.

Укрзалізниця (Ukrainian Railways) and РЖД (Russian Railways) trains at Rostov-on-Don Continue reading

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Keeping ice off the overhead wires

In a land of freezing cold winters, it isn’t just the tracks that get covered with snow – ice builds up on the overhead lines used to power electric trains, acting as an electrical insulator to prevent the pantograph contacting the wire, which interrupts the flow of current and creates a shower of sparks. So what issues does that cause to rail operations?

електри́чка (suburban electrical multiple unit) train outside the city of Ясинувата (Yasynuvata) Continue reading

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Exploring Saint Petersburg’s abandoned Varshavsky station

During my stay in Saint Petersburg, I tried to visit the collection of Russian trains at the Oktyabrskaya Railway Museum, but it was closed for the New Year holiday. However my venture to the outskirts of the city was not in vain, as the unguarded remains of Varshavsky vokzal (Varshavsky station) was still there to explore.

Looking down the abandoned platforms to the main station building Continue reading

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