FolkestoneJack's Tracks

London to Kyiv

Posted in Kyiv, Ukraine by folkestonejack on February 16, 2008

Around October last year I noticed an advert in one of the railway magazines advertising the last steam tour in the Ukraine. It sounded like my worst nightmare and the most incredible experience rolled into one. The thought of spending 8 days on board a train with over a hundred passengers sounded fairly horrific but on the other hand how could I miss this last chance to see five different classes of loco in steam!? The lure proved too great…

So, this is how I ended up on my way to Kyiv in the Ukraine today. I wasn’t alone in my madness – it was pretty clear that there were two distinct types of passenger on board this morning’s British Airways flight from Heathrow (BA0882). Firstly, there were well dressed Ukrainians heading home laden with expensive shopping and then there were the rail enthusiasts. Needless to say, it wasn’t too difficult to tell the two groups apart!

In the early afternoon we landed at Kyiv (Borispol) and I emerged into the utter chaos of the arrivals hall. All the waiting locals, taxi drivers and other hangers on had crowded around the exit doors so you really had to fight your way into clean air. After a little confusion I found my way out to the coach that had been arranged to take us to the distinctively shaped Kyiv-Pasazhyrs’kyi (Kyiv Passenger Station). The group of early arrivals settled in to a waiting room on the upper floor but it was destined to be a long wait as the process of gathering the 120 or so participants would continue throughout the day. Our train was not scheduled to leave until around 8pm so boredom settled in very quickly!

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