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Introducing Western Bam

The official start of the 3100km-long Baikal–Amur Mainline (Baikalo–Amurskaya Magistral, BAM) is Tayshet, Siberia's busiest railway junction and a former gulag town. From there the BAM crosses almost virgin territory that is more impressively mountainous than anything along the Trans-Siberian main line. For most travellers top BAM stop is Severobaikalsk, an almost tourist-ready hub for visiting Baikal's stunning north with thermal mini-spas nestling amid dramatic nameless peaks.