The railroad less traveled: Russia by train

Updated on
The World

Over the past two summers, my family has taken train trips to central and southern regions of Russia. There is no lack of visually interesting material along the way. Train travel remains the cheapest and most convenient method of transportation across the vast distances of the largest country on Earth. 

Stops at various stations can last from five minutes to several hours. Passengers leave their cars to buy fresh (and sometimes not-so-fresh) cooked potatoes, pies and fish usually sold by local women from makeshift concession stands. Station-side markets offer fruits and vegetables as the train crosses into southern regions. In the trains, tea is served in glasses with metal holders called podstakanniki.

Tea, fried chicken and hard-boiled eggs prepared at home in advance are as inseparable from long distance train travel as the tracks themselves. The photos in the slide show above were taken on various legs of my family’s journeys and at our eventual destinations.

The author maintains a blog about life in St. Petersburg, "Life in New Russia: St. Petersburg."