Introducing Eastern Bam
Mocked by Moscow brass (and much of Russia), the one-track BAM makes its greatest construction achievements on this 80-hour stretch east of Lake Baikal, where it passes more taiga, and through a 15.7km tunnel cut through solid rock. Most of the towns aren't much to look at - 1970s housing blocks put up 'so leaders wouldn't look like idiots for spending so much on the railroad, ' one local cynic suggested - and with a greater stench of vodka in many passers-by. But many locals will be delighted at your interest (and maybe get you drunk). The best stop-off point is Komsomolsk-na-Amure, a European-styled town built in the 1930s.