I would *love* to take the Trans-Siberian Railway sometime! The map above is from wikitravel.org. From their page - preparing for the trip:
- Packing the following items is recommended for any lengthy journey on the Trans-Siberian railway
- Pocket knife For slicing up bread and vegetables you can buy from the sellers at major stops
- Cutlery Instant noodles, or its Russian version - instant potatoes, become essential snacks for most travellers, since each carriage is equipped with boiling water from the Samovar, unfortunately they often come without the usual plastic fork or spoon.
- Perfumed wet tissues/baby wipes/wet wipes These little things can do wonders for your personal hygiene.
- Head lamp On these long journeys (through 8 time zones), it often turns out that Einstein indeed was right - time does become relative. So bring a headlamp for reading when others want to slumber.
- Flip-flops or other slip on footwear, for your days on the train
- Deck of cards or other easily explained games are great for socializing with your fellow travelers, and making the long hours spent on the train immensely more enjoyable. Bring a deck of 5 Crowns for this is a favourite in Russia. If you are a chess player, by all means bring a little chess set - the game is really very popular in Russia.
- Pictures of your home, country and family and a phrasebook with a conversation section (Lonely Planet's phrasebook is a good one) can work surprisingly well, since you'll have nothing but time to overcome the language gap. Many Russians tend to be curious about foreigners once the initial suspicion dies down, since they don't normally meet many - even these days. Recommended: make a list of vocabulary and study it in the train!
Paul Theroux has a great description of his Trans-Siberian trip in The Great Railway Bazaar
This video is a documentary about the building of the railway:
This video is of a private train which makes the long, long trip.
The epic Private Train Journey on the world's most famous Railway
Further Information: http://www.transsiberian-travel.com
Over 25 years of experience - More than 30,000 satisfied guests.
Director Michael Altenhenne has captured the journey on the Transsiberian by Private Train with his camera in a virtuoso manner. His impressions of Russia, Mongolia and China are perfect to lose oneself in the yearning for or maybe even one's own memories of the last genuine adventure trip on earth. The unique atmosphere onboard the comfortable private train, the sublime mood of the travellers and the natural and cultural wonders en route unfold their irresistible charm in this excellent documentary.
Filmmaker: Michael Altenhenne (http://www.visionloft.de)