Travel the Trans Siberian Railway and visit Maritime Museums?

The first icebreaker at Lake Baikal was a ‘shuttle ferry’ for railway carriages, a "swimming bridge" if you will. It was to connect the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Lake Baikal - tracks approached from the west and from the southeast. The first icebreaker (later called Baikal) was contracted with ‘Sir V.G. Armstrong and Co’. of Newcastle, U.K. in November 1895.

The icebreaker was transported from Britain in sections, travelling by ship, train and horse power. It was finally assembled at Listvyanka in 1898-99. Emperor of Russia Nikolai II issued a decree naming the ship Baikal.

While Baikal was being transported in parts from Britain, the Russian Railways decided to order another smaller icebreaker, which would be named Angara. This would be for transporting goods and passengers on the same route. The parts for this new icebreaker were shipped from Britain to Revel (now Tallinn), and then went by the Trans-Siberian Railroad to the shore of Baikal. It was assembled and started operations on July 25, 1900.

The Angara shuttled between Port Baikal and Mysovaya twice a day until the Circumbaikal Railway was finished in 1905. In 1918 the Angara was refitted for the transportation of passengers only. During the civil war the icebreaker was fitted with guns and ordered to guard Listvyanka

The Angara was in use up until the early 1960s. In 1990 the ship was moored within the Gulf of Irkutsk. In 2015 the Irkutsk Regional Museum opened a new exhibition onboard that delves into the history of the vessel and of navigation on Lake Baikal.

The Angara is the oldest Icebreaker that has been preserved as a floating museum. The oldest preserved, ‘operating’ icebreaker is at the maritime museum portion of the Seaplane Hanger complex in Tallinn Estonia

Current view in summer

1926 Livery