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Does anyone know if there is a freight train that would take a bike ffrom Murmansk to Saint Petersburg?
I'm planning a ride from Newcastle, UK to Murmansk but as I can only get so much time off work I'm trying to find a quick way to get home. The plkan would be to ride to Murmansk in about 10 days but then (ideally) get a train from Murmansk - St Petersburg and then ride over to Helsinki and get the ferry to Travemunde and then ride Travemunde to Amsterdam and get the ferry back to Newcastle.
Any other ideas of how I could save time on the return leg would be useful.
Newcastle - Dover - Calais - Magdeburg - Konin - Kaunas - Riga - Tartu - Saint Petersburg - Murmansk.
What about the St Peter Line Ferry from Tallinn to St Petersburg and then direct to Helsinki or Stockholm? I took this a couple of of months ago and found it quite good.
I think you mean " Tallinn OR St P "
Ferries can be useful short cuts where there is no road network, but they move slowly and with the waiting time it is often quicker to ride quite big road detours.
The OP is tight for time and distances fairly big.
For example I have several times ridden (and driven) Calais to St P in just under 3 very full riding days of 600 miles each, using all the direct autobahn route and your intended route through the Baltics. That alone, with his trip from 'oop t'north' will eat 8 days of his quota at the very least if going straight there and back the same way. Then there is Russia.
From St P going north I would expect progress to be slower unless possibly going through Finland, but that is a big detour.
Regarding trains in Russia -
- passenger trains are quite slow and mostly a bike will be quicker on roads away from built up areas.
- freight trains are even slower, making detours and stops for loading/unloading all the time.
The only real advantage timewise is trains often keep moving through the nights - which will be very short or non-existent in the main moto riding season for those regions.
Murmansk is connected by rail with St P.
Rail freighting across RUS is possible and regularly done for motos, snow-scooters etc depending on seasons, but I've not heard of anyone doing it to/from Murmansk.
Generally such items are sent ahead on dedicated freight trains that take far longer than the passenger trains the rider/driver has to use.
From Dover to Stockholm was any easy 3 days riding 2 up (10am ferry from Dover) with plenty of wife stops and keeping pretty much to speed limits and arriving in Sotckholm with plenty of time to spare. Single rider with a early/late ferry from/into Dover you could do it in either direction in 2 easy days I think. It is only about 1200miles if go via Kolding and Copenhangen.
So my thought was either the OP could do Dover to Calais to Stockholm and ferry to either Tallinn and ride to StPB (overnight on ferry no lost days) or straight to StPB (lose a day on ferry). On and off the ferry seemed no slower than land borders we have done in and out of Russia and would have been much quicker if I understood the Russian paperwork (amazing how quickly you can cross borders once you have a clue).
Or on the return leg go StPB to Helsinki or Stockholm.
Doesn't eliminate riding back from Murmansk, but maybe could save some time.
Maybe ride to Murmansk through Russia and back through Finland to Helsinki and do an overnight ferry to Stockholm and then back to England from there. Overnight ferry at least doesn't waste any days.
I've looked into going through Finland on the way back but the advice that I have got is that the roads won't be good enough for my road bike to handle.
From what I had researched the passenger train from Murmansk to St Petersburg takes about 24-30 hours and I've estimated 3-4 days riding to do the same journey. I was hoping that there would be a train that my bike and I could travel on together to save some of this time.
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