The king of the BAM, Tynda is a nondescript town flanked by low-lying pine-covered hills. Many stop here, as it’s a hub for trains between Severobaikalsk, Komsomolsk-na-Amure and, on the Little BAM, Blagoveshchensk to the south, or, on the in-progress AYaM (Amuro-Yakutskaya Mainline), Neryungri and Tommot to the north.
Don’t expect quaint. Tynda’s fully Soviet – there was nothing but a few shacks before BAM centralised its efforts here in 1974. Liven up your visit by arriving during a festival. The Bakaldin Festival rotates between several nearby Evenki villages in late May or early June, with traditional song, dance, reindeer rides and plenty of reindeer shashlyki and other native delicacies. March sees the Reindeer Hunter and Herder Festival.