Friends of the 261 to host steam tour of Russia

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MINNEAPOLIS – The Friends of the 261, owner and operator of Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261, will sponsor a steam-focused tour of Russia in autumn 2018. The tour will feature 21 different steam locomotives covering 3,500 miles on a journey from Moscow to the North Caucasus and the Black Sea coast. The trip will operate Sept. 28 to Oct. 12, 2018.

Steam locomotives on the tour will include double-headed 4-8-4s on several segments, a Kizlyar LV 2-10-2, double-headed 2-10-2s and 2-10-0s, single and double-headed 2-6-2s, double-headed 0-10-2s, a narrow gauge diesel, even a 0-6-0. In total, 21 locomotives are scheduled for the tour.

The trip will begin in Moscow, with the first excursion pulled by a P36 Class 4-8-4 steam locomotive, Russia’s final steam passenger design and Europe’s largest steam locomotive. The special train will head south to the Volga at Saratov and Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea. The tour then heads west along the Caucasus Mountains to Grozniyy, Chechnya’s capital and Vladikavkaz, capital of adjacent North Ossetia.

The tour also visits the areas of Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk – favorite resorts for the former leaders of the Soviet Union. Heading west through the mountains the train will travel remote Guamsky Canyon before running along the coastal line to Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Later the tour will return north to Tikhoretsk location of the North Caucasus steam repair depot where there will be the opportunity to see more steam locomotives before arriving in Rostov-on-Don. From Rostov the train heads east to Volgograd (the former Stalingrad) and then back to Moscow.

The private train includes Golden Eagle en-suite sleeping accommodations, Heritage accommodations, and lounge and restaurant cars. For booking and more information call 651-688-7320 or email

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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