Getting there & away
From a side platform at Slyudyanka I station, short, wooden-seated Matanya trains (R32, six hours) currently depart at 1pm, two to four times weekly - check timetables carefully. To get a seat you'll need to join the scrum to board around half an hour before departure. Get off at Baranchiki, the penultimate halt, for Port Baikal's best accommodation. In summer an additional tourist train direct from Irkutsk departs at around 7am on Saturday. Wonderfully detailed website kbzd.irk.ru/Eng/has regularly updated timetables plus photographs of virtually every inch of the route.