Odyssey of Steel - Lin Yangchen
  • Odyssey of Steel

стали одиссея

Saigon to Scotland by train
Lin Yangchen

This is only an itinerary accompanied by some photographs. A separate written work will come later.


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Calling stations 🚂 (list may not be complete): Distances are derived from train timetables and information from the Internet.

5 May 2017
North-South Railway (opened 1936), Vietnam
Track gauge: 1000mm
🚂 Sài Gòn 0km ("Reunification Express")


Saigon street food. ©Lin Yangchen


Conducting a Saigon symphony. ©Lin Yangchen


Saigon railway station, the start point of the Odyssey of Steel. ©Lin Yangchen

🚂 Bình Thuận 175km
🚂 Nha Trang 411km
🚂 Diêu Trì 630km
🚂 Quảng Ngãi 798km
🚂 Đà Nẵng 935km
🚂 Huế 1038km
Photo
A slow day somewhere along the line
🚂 Đồng Hới 1204km
🚂 Vinh 1407km
🚂 Thanh Hóa 1550km
🚂 Ninh Bình 1611km
🚂 Hà Nội 1726km
Photos
Drivers conducting the pre-departure checklist in a Chinese-built D19E (120 km/h) bound for Sài Gòn. They treated the author to a glass of strong Vietnamese tea. One of these locomotives was wrecked in the Dien sanh train crash.

Fresh eggs for sale

Hà Nội old quarter

Overtaking on the Cầu Long Biên (1902), an iron cantilever bridge designed by Daydé & Pillé (Paris).

7 May
Photo
Overtaking
Track gauge: 1435mm
🚂 Gia Lâm
🚂 Đồng Đăng (Vietnamese border)
🚂 Pingxiang (Chinese border)
8 May
🚂 Nanning 2035km (train Z6)
🚂 Nanning East
🚂 Liuzhou
🚂 Guilin
🚂 Hengyang
Photo
Photo of platform vendor cart
🚂 Changsha
Photo
city and traffic outside train window at dusk
🚂 Wuchang
🚂 Zhengzhou
🚂 Shijiazhuang
🚂 Beijing West 4530km
Photos
10 May
🚂 Beijing (Train K3)
🚂 Zhangjiakounan 4734km
🚂 Jiningnan 4904km
Trans-Mongolian Railway (completed 1955)
🚂 Zhurihe 5078km
🚂 Erlian (Chinese border) 5237km
Track gauge 1435mm --> 1520mm
Photos
Jacking up the detached cars and changing from standard gauge to Russian gauge bogies. Why Russian wider, as the author was made aware of by fellow traveler Lee Barckmann.
🚂 Dzamin Uud (Mongolian border) 5247km
🚂 Sainshand 5482km
🚂 Choyr 5709km
🚂 Ulan Bator 5956km
Photos
🚂 Zonhala
🚂 Darhan 6237km
🚂 Suche Bator (Mongolian border) 6335km
🚂 Naushki (Russian border) 6358km
🚂 Dzida 6402km
🚂 Ulan Ude 6613km
Trans-Siberian Railway
🚂 Slyudyanka 6945km
🚂 Irkutsk 7069km
🚂 Zima 7319km
🚂 Nizhne-Udinsk 7575km
🚂 Ilanskaya 7878km
🚂 Krasnoyarsk 8156km
🚂 Malinsk 8541km
🚂 Taiga 8729km
🚂 Novosibirsk 8918km
Photo
Sunset with 3 doors between novosibirsk and balabinsk
🚂 Balabinsk 9221km
🚂 Omsk 9545km
🚂 Ishim
🚂 Tumen 10117km
🚂 Yekaterinburg 10443km
🚂 Perm II 10824km
🚂 Balezino 11030km
🚂 Kirov 11271km
🚂 Nizhni Novgorod 11781km
🚂 Vladimir 12031km
🚂 Moscow-Yaroslavskaya 12221km
Photos
15 May
🚂 Moscow-Kiyevskaya
🚂 Suzemka (Russian border)
🚂 Konotop (Ukrainian border)
🚂 Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi 13093km
Photos
16 May
🚂 Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi ("Kiev Express")
🚂 Korosten
🚂 Sarny
🚂 Kovel
🚂 Yahodyn (Ukrainian border)
Track gauge 1520mm --> 1435mm
🚂 Dorohusk (Polish border)
🚂 Chełm
🚂 Lublin
🚂 Dęblin
🚂 Warsaw Wschodnia
🚂 Warsaw Centralna 13783km
Photos
17 May
🚂 Warsaw Centralna
🚂 Kutno
🚂 Poznań
🚂 Świebodzin
🚂 Rzepin
🚂 Frankfurt (Oder)
🚂 Berlin Ostbahnhof
🚂 Berlin Hauptbahnhof 14353km.
Photos
The Berlin Wall
18 May high-speed trains across western Europe
🚂 Berlin Hauptbahnhof (ICE 954)
🚂 Berlin Spandau
🚂 Hannover
🚂 Bielefeld
🚂 Hamm
🚂 Hagen
🚂 Wuppertal
🚂 Köln 14829km (Thalys TH9448)
Photos
TGV (PBKA variant, 320 km/h) pulling into Köln Hauptbahnhof for the high-speed service to Paris-Nord.
Thalys gunman
🚂 Aachen
🚂 Liège
🚂 Bruxelles-Midi 15012km
🚂 Paris Gare du Nord 15276km
Photos
Opposite the street from Gare du Nord.
Eurostar
🚂 Paris Gare du Nord (train 9055)
Photos
Eurostar first class, at or near service ceiling of 300km/h, at which the stopping distance is almost 3 km. The author requested to be put on a service operated by the previous-generation Eurostar train with the timeless interior design by Philippe Starck. The train is 387 m long and has extensive fireproofing for safety in the Channel Tunnel, including materials, heavy-duty wire insulation and fire doors, according to Eurostar.
🚂 Ashford
🚂 London St. Pancras 15356km
Photos
The famed St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which fronts the Eurostar terminal.
(Panda in underground) Underground photo caption link to London Underground Photo Exhibition
19 May East Coast Main Line (opened 1850)
🚂 London King's Cross ("Highland Cheftain" service introduced in 1984)
🚂 York
🚂 Darlington
🚂 Newcastle 15754km
🚂 Berwick-upon-Tweed
🚂 Edinburgh 15988km
🚂 Haymarket
🚂 Falkirk Grahamston
🚂 Stirling
🚂 Gleneagles
🚂 Perth
🚂 Pitlochry
🚂 Kingussie
🚂 Aviemore
🚂 Inverness 16291km
Photos
Fastest diesel engine in the world what speed. Class 43 intercity 125 developed as mass electrification of the rail network was financially impractical at the time. 43302
20 May Far North Line (completed 1874)
🚂 Inverness
Photos
Inverness, from the author's room on the top floor of the Pentahotel.
🚂 Beauly
🚂 Muir of Ord
🚂 Conon Bridge
🚂 Dingwall
🚂 Alness
🚂 Invergordon
🚂 Fearn
🚂 Tain
🚂 Ardgay
🚂 Culrain
🚂 Invershin
🚂 Lairg
🚂 Rogart
🚂 Golspie
🚂 Dunrobin Castle
🚂 Brora
🚂 Helmsdale
🚂 Kildonan
🚂 Kinbrace
🚂 Forsinard
🚂 Altnabreac
🚂 Scotscalder
🚂 Georgemas Junction
🚂 Thurso 16548km

Photos
Thurso railway station, the northernmost station on the British National Rail network and the final station on the Odyssey of Steel. British Rail Class 158 (140 km/h) with aluminium chassis.

Acknowledgements
Seat 61
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