The Trans-Siberian Railway turned 100 years old this year. In that time, some argue, little has been done to modernize the enormous route.
Earlier this year, property developers in Russia opened an international architecture competition to design easily-replicable tourist structures “that would become a part of this iconic attraction, fitting in with the history and identity of one of the most well-travelled routes in the world.”
The winner of the competition was Kamvari Architects, who proposed a series of elephant trunk-looking shelters. The 65-foot-tall kiosks will house passengers as they wait along the train’s route and provide information about the railway. Each structure will also contain a shop, restaurant and storage area.
The London-based architecture firm said that their design “seeks to address and explore the way in which architecture is evolving” while also highlighting local craftsman traditions. The kiosks’ unusual, elongated height is meant to make stations “visible from a distance, lifting the traditional form also expresses a sense of pride in the railway and its achievement.”
Kamvari said that the cabins will come in two separate parts for easy assembly and sit above the ground to protect structures from extreme heat and cold.
It’s estimated that the cabins will be installed in nine different location along the train’s route, including Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Ulaanbaatar. Construction and installation is scheduled to begin in five locations, starting 2018.
The Trans-Siberian Railway travels 5,772 miles to connect Moscow to Vladivostok in the east. The journey takes 167 hours and makes 120 stops. An extension to the railroad, which would link it to Japan’s high-speed railroad, was proposed earlier this year.