No one on the train knew what time it would arrive at its destination. For hour after hour it snaked through the snow-covered forests of far eastern Siberia without passing a single settlement. In the corridors between carriages, where some of the 100 or so men and three women on board gathered to shiver and smoke, even the door handles had grown a thick coating of ice. Some said they’d heard the train would arrive by nightfall. Others caught the last dregs of phone signal and tried to check the map. “Are you in shock yet, about where you’re going?” 39-year-old Evgeniy Shiraev asked his neighbour, although Shiraev, like most of the people onboard, had never been before. Uneasy, they watched the train turn off the normal route and leave the Russian railway network behind. From there it would make its way north, by a 321-kilometer private railroad. There […]