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Erick’s List: Trains

Exploring Russia by train: epic and mundane journeys

Russia is a vast country, and railways have been instrumental in helping to get across, around and about the country since the 19th century. These days, railways remain vital for the world’s largest country’s freight and passenger transportation. In the new episode of Erick’s List, Mexican journalist Erick Fonseca Zárate is out on the road (or, rather, the railroad, to be exact), showing all different kinds of trains cruising across the nation.

Initially, Erick hopes to make it to Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian “Rossiya” train - a journey that would take him seven days. Still, duty calls, and he makes his way back to Moscow… only to board a sleek and glistening high-speed Sapsan train, taking him from Moscow to St. Petersburg. A trip takes merely 4 hours, making one fathom if the future has already arrived without us noticing. Then, Erick examines the cultural phenomenon of electrichkas – commuter trains taken by thousands of people to and from Moscow.

The “old school” trains with hard seats and some quirky fellow travellers from all walks of life bear no resemblance to the spanking new Lastochka trains with air-conditioned cars and sombre conductors, but both have their own charm. And finally, the adventurous journalist takes his viewers onboard one of the world’s most expensive and decadent trains - The Golden Eagle, plying the Trans-Siberian route at a leisurely pace. Its suites, complete with king-size beds and Jacuzzi bathtubs, redefine luxury travel, creating an experience worthy of Russian Tsars.