Peking-Mukden Railway - Timetable for Connections to Europe

Sat, 06/06/2020 - 16:50

This timetable, extracted from a Peking-Mukden Railway "Handbook " published in 1911, shows railway connecting times for  travel between Peking and London in 12 1/2 days. 

Date picture taken


Am I reading it correctly when it says the Harbin -> Moscow leg takes 8 whole days but the return trip for the same stretch takes 10? Any idea why the return leg took two extra days?

@ "Any idea why the return leg took two extra days?

Sorry not totally sure .  Some of the difference would be caused by the intenational times zones ............. even now when we fly from Hong Kong at 1 am in the morning we arrive in London on the same morning..  But coming back (eastwards ) its usually the next day we arrive.... i,e, on paper we lose "one  day "

A little more infromation has come to light after rummaging through my books. George Lynch, writing in "The Path to Empire"  (published in 1903) has an entire chapter on the "Express" . He suggests waiting if necessary one or two days to ensure that the trains you are connecting with enroute are Wagons-Lits trains because of the much superior levels of comfort. Not all expresses had the Wagons Lits carriages attached.

For operational reasons it would not always be possible for the journey times be identical in each direction for a number of reasons. Inclines on the route could slow trains down and make the times between stations significantly different . If trains were descending speed restrictions would still prevent the trains travelling faster.