Trans-Mongolian train captured in incredible pictures

  • The epic journey starts from China and finishes in Russia, taking around seven days to complete
  • Commuters on the train get to take in some of the planet’s most iconic landmarks during the journey
  • Before industrialisation the trip would have taken almost half a year to complete with a full caravan of camels 

For most the morning commute into work is long enough, so spare some sympathy for passengers aboard the Trans-Mongolian Railway, one of the world’s longest train lines.

The epic journey starts from China and finishes in Russia, taking around seven days to complete and stretching to a distance of over 7,000km (4,350 miles). Fortunately for the commuters using the railway, they get to take in some of the planet’s most iconic landmarks during the mammoth journey, including the Great Wall of China and Gobi Desert.

Photographer Fabien Astre, 32, documented his journey on the train in June 2012 and managed to achieve a childhood dream of travelling some of the world’s longest railway lines. 

Photographer Fabien Astre, 32, documented his journey on the Trans-Mongolian Railway in June 2012

Photographer Fabien Astre, 32, documented his journey on the Trans-Mongolian Railway in June 2012

The epic journey starts from China and finishes in Russia, taking around seven days to complete and stretching to a distance of over 7,000km (4,350 miles)

The epic journey starts from China and finishes in Russia, taking around seven days to complete and stretching to a distance of over 7,000km (4,350 miles)

The journey takes in some of the planet's most iconic landmarks during the mammoth journey, including the Great Wall of China and Gobi Desert. Pictured is a first-class carriage

The journey takes in some of the planet’s most iconic landmarks during the mammoth journey, including the Great Wall of China and Gobi Desert. Pictured is a first-class carriage

Starting in Beijing, the railway traverses through the picturesque mountains of northern China and passes Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake, before ending in Moscow.

Astre said: ‘I was a kid when I first heard about the Trans-Mongolian for the first time. It has always been a dream to do it.

‘I have always loved travelling by train, I do not know if it’s because my father used to work for the French train company or simply because journeying by train feels more adventurous.’

Starting in Beijing, the railway traverses through the picturesque mountains of northern China and passes Lake Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake, before ending in Moscow. Pictured is a group of friends talking on the train

Starting in Beijing, the railway traverses through the picturesque mountains of northern China and passes Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake, before ending in Moscow. Pictured is a group of friends talking on the train

Astre said: 'I was a kid when I first heard about the Trans-Mongolian for the first time. It has always been a dream to do it'

Astre said: ‘I was a kid when I first heard about the Trans-Mongolian for the first time. It has always been a dream to do it’

Construction of the railway started in 1947 and was completed in 1955 by the Soviet Union, which had earlier in the century built the Trans-Siberian Railway, the world's longest railway line with a length of 9,289km (5,771 miles)

Construction of the railway started in 1947 and was completed in 1955 by the Soviet Union, which had earlier in the century built the Trans-Siberian Railway, the world’s longest railway line with a length of 9,289km (5,771 miles)

The Trans-Mongolian Railway follows the old route of camel caravans of the past that was used by merchants to bring tea into Europe and Russia from China

The Trans-Mongolian Railway follows the old route of camel caravans of the past that was used by merchants to bring tea into Europe and Russia from China

Construction of the railway started in 1947 and was completed in 1955 by the Soviet Union, which had earlier in the century built the Trans-Siberian Railway, the world’s longest railway line with a length of 9,289km (5,771 miles).

The Trans-Mongolian Railway follows the old route of camel caravans of the past that was used by merchants to bring tea into Europe and Russia from China.

Before industrialisation the trip would have taken almost half a year to complete with a full caravan of camels and porters lugging spices and tea.

On average the commute can take up to a week to complete. However, many who decide to embark on the journey often take the opportunity to stay over at the numerous towns and cities enroute.

Fabien said: ‘I stopped in Mongolia and traveled around for one month. Eventually I started the journey again travelling from Ulan Bator to Moscow, which took six days on the train.’

The service passes some sweeping landscapes during its 4,300-mile journey

The service passes some sweeping landscapes during its 4,300-mile journey

Before industrialisation the trip would have taken almost half a year to complete with a full caravan of camels and porters lugging spices and tea

Before industrialisation the trip would have taken almost half a year to complete with a full caravan of camels and porters lugging spices and tea

On average the commute can take up to a week to complete. However, many who decide to embark on the journey often take the opportunity to stay over at the numerous towns and cities enroute

On average the commute can take up to a week to complete. However, many who decide to embark on the journey often take the opportunity to stay over at the numerous towns and cities enroute

Astre said: 'I stopped in Mongolia and traveled around for one month. Eventually I started the journey again travelling from Ulan Bator to Moscow, which took six days on the train'

Astre said: ‘I stopped in Mongolia and traveled around for one month. Eventually I started the journey again travelling from Ulan Bator to Moscow, which took six days on the train’

Keeping track of things: A Trans-Mongolian staff member poses for a picture in Mongolia

Keeping track of things: A Trans-Mongolian staff member poses for a picture in Mongolia

Some of the train stations along the route aren't exactly hives of activity

Some of the train stations along the route aren’t exactly hives of activity

Mr Astre, 11 carriages back from the locomotive, captured the train here sweeping around a long right-hand curve, between huge expansive fields

Mr Astre, 11 carriages back from the locomotive, captured the train here sweeping around a long right-hand curve, between huge expansive fields


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