Russian Retro Soviet Steam Trains: Karelia, Baikal and the Golden Ring with Vladimir Ivanov

Russian Retro Soviet Steam Trains: Karelia, Baikal and the Golden Ring with Vladimir Ivanov


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It is no secret that Russia has one of the longest and oldest railway networks in the world. Recently the country saw a huge wave of interest in old-fashioned Soviet steam-engine trains, with revived locomotives back on track. This conversation will take participants on a virtual journey along three historic lines offering a fascinating way to explore remote and less-visited regions of Russia.

The Ruskeala Express goes through Karelia, a scenic area of thousand of lakes in the north-west of Russia, where Finnish, Scandinavian and Russian cultures meet together. The Bologoye-Ostashkov line (between Moscow and St Petersburg) offers a glimpse into the life of the historic town of Ostashkov in an area known as the Golden Rind. Finally, the Round-Baikalline takes you on a romantic trip across picturesque shores of the largest freshwater lake in the world, surrounded by boundless Siberian steppes.

On our virtual journey on a vintage train, we are going to talk about the history, traditions, and daily life of these regions, but, more importantly, about steam locomotives themselves, historic car designs, and railway infrastructure.

Led by St-Petersburg-based art-historian Vladimir Ivanov this interactive seminar explores the way national railroads shaped the identity of the country and its various regions. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased knowledge of Karelia, Lake Baikal, and the Golden Ring and get practical tips on vintage train travel through Russia.

Holding an MA in Classics, Vladimir is an author of a book called “Inspired by outer space: images of the future in late Soviet architecture” and a key contributor to TASCHEN's edition "CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed". Vladimir has written articles on contemporary art for local media, done podcasts on photography and the Russian revolution. He has also curated a number of exhibitions, including "The Cradle of the Faith: Christian Presence in the Middle East" in New Michael Palace and "Lingua Sacra" in the Imperial Public Library. Currently, he is doing architectural walks in St Petersburg and shares his vast knowledge of arts through the tours of the Hermitage and Russian museums.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
33%
(1)
67%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
P.H.
Two interests nicely combined

The integration of what are essentially two presentations -- visiting some lesser-known but fascinating Russian towns and landscapes, and touring by vintage train -- is so well done that each group will probably be equally enthusiastic about the prospect of seeing Russia this way. The photos in particular were riveting, and for the train buffs there is a fun film clip.

S
S.A.
Three Trips

The history was fascinating,but thought they would have been more emphasis and information on the actual trains-gauge, engines, where built, when, Vladimir is still coming to grips with English, so the presentation was a bit jerky, but this did not deter from the great history he imparted.

R
R.R.
Trains in Russia

Even though I learned a lot in this conversation, I would have appreciated it more if it had views from the train compartment as if from the passenger point of view. I was left wanting more.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
33%
(1)
67%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
P.H.
Two interests nicely combined

The integration of what are essentially two presentations -- visiting some lesser-known but fascinating Russian towns and landscapes, and touring by vintage train -- is so well done that each group will probably be equally enthusiastic about the prospect of seeing Russia this way. The photos in particular were riveting, and for the train buffs there is a fun film clip.

S
S.A.
Three Trips

The history was fascinating,but thought they would have been more emphasis and information on the actual trains-gauge, engines, where built, when, Vladimir is still coming to grips with English, so the presentation was a bit jerky, but this did not deter from the great history he imparted.

R
R.R.
Trains in Russia

Even though I learned a lot in this conversation, I would have appreciated it more if it had views from the train compartment as if from the passenger point of view. I was left wanting more.