Train from to Ulaanbaatar
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 4 of 13 › view all entries
We boarded our Chinese train to Ulaanbaatar ... a journey of 30 hours across 1356 km. Spotted the Great Wall outside Beijing but the scenery soon turned dusty brownish-green ... the steppes in dry weather and Gobi Desert. We had a nice 2-berth cabin with a shared shower with the next cabin ... but one toilet per carriage.
Our neighbours were mainly retireees and train-spotters (some were both but we are neither). Exception was our immediate neighbour who were honeymooners, hardly leaving their cabin! The highlight for train-spotters and us as well, was the bogey change at Erlian at the Chinese-Mongol border.
The bogey change is due to the two countries using different track width. A highly mechanised process ... the carriages are uncoupled and lifted slowly off the Chinese bogeys (don't even feel the lifting motion). The Mongol ones are slid under and the carriages are lowered back down. All this happens with the passengers on board but the toilets locked to ensure we do not ... er, soil the workers and the workshop floor.