All Jacked Up

It’s beginning to get confusing about time zones. Belarus is supposed to be 1 hour ahead of Warsaw and 1 hour behind Moscow but nobody seems to have told the Belarussians about this so they’re already on Moscow time. At least we think so. Anyway, some time around 8pm (or possibly 9pm) we arrived at Brest and were shuffled and shunted into a massive shed for the ceremonial changing of the wheel bogies. Remember… the width between Russian rails, the gauge, is 5 feet, much wider than Europe. This is a good thing for the Russians since it makes it much more difficult for other countries to invade them, which has happened all too often in the past. The wheels have to be changed to fit and that’s what happens in the shed.

Once in position, the entire train is slowly raised up high by a row of massive yellow hydraulic screw jacks.

Finally the old wheels are rolled away, the new ones rolled in and the whole train is lowered back down.

The entire process takes about an hour and a half. We also get a Russian Dining car attached. More on that later.

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