Welcome to Tayshet
All Siberian roads, or railway lines at least, lead to Tayshet, a major rail junction where the Trans-Siberian, BAM and Tayshet–Abakan line collide. A child of the Trans-Sib, Tayshet had a difficult upbringing as the Gulag capital of Eastern Siberia. Between the late 1930s and the mid-1960s, numerous camps and prison colonies occupied bits of town, with everyone from 39,000 Japanese prisoners of war to well-known Moscow intellectuals passing through at various points. Not much remains of the camps today except for a few rows of prisoner-built wooden houses.
Tayshet is now becoming known as the gateway to fascinating Tofalaria – an excruciatingly remote land inhabited by Tofy, Russia’s smallest ethnic group.