I have one more night sleeping on the rails but technically I can check the Trans-Siberian Railway off my “must do” list. I traveled 4,735 mile (7,621km) by railroad from Beijing, China to Moscow, Russia.
It was actually 3 separate train trips, the Trans-Mongolian, Trans-Siberian and Trans-Ural. The trip included time spent on a Chinese, Mongolian and Russian operated train. In 2nd class we slept in berths that accommodated 4 people. All of the trains had western style toilets, ( on 3 trains the toilets were placed over holes that emptied on the train tracks below) clean sheets and scolding hot water for coffee and noodles.
It was if the quality of the trains increased the farther west we traveled . The Chinese train was hot but the windows opened and there was a fan in each sleeper. The Mongolian train was older but it had a beautiful dining cart decorated with carved wood. The windows on the Russian trains don’t open. But they were air-conditioner. The first Russian train was the only time I didn’t have to use baby wipes to shower before going to bed. I was able to take a shower. (Under these circumstances I am referring to a metal bucket of steaming hot water and a scooper made from the bottom part of a plastic water bottle as a shower.) The train going to Moscow was new with all the modern amenities and the service was first class.
The experiences aboard the trains were interesting but the real highlight was watching the landscape change from my seat by the window. Unfortunately my final train trip will consist of a room without a view; the Moscow to St. Petersburg rail is overnight.