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The Old Round Baikal Railway


The winding line of the RBR

The RBR is a unique architectural monument of technical design dating back to the very beginning of the last century. Before the Revolution, the RBR was called The Golden Buckle of the Steel Belt of Russia, a nickname, that reflected the high engineering costs of the project. The route was built to link the two sections of the Trans-Siberian Railway, previously divided by Lake Baikal.

The construction started in the beginning of 1902. Because of the approaching war with Japan, they had to accelerate the pace of construction and after less than two years the tracks were in place and the first trains were running. As a result, Russia got the continuous railway through the whole country. Actually it was and still remains the longest railway in the world.

Everyone agrees that the section of track from Port Baikal to Slydyanka is one of the most outstanding feats of railroad engineering of the last century. It follows all the time the winding shoreline of the lake turning the marvellous capes and bays. Today the Round-Baikal Railroad serves only as a tourist attraction and a commuter route for locals.