Artek students given a chance to see Russia from a train window

Young railway workers were guides on an improvised journey through 18 Russian cities during the Russia from a Train Window quest at the Artek International Children’s Center. Traveling from station to station, the participants learned interesting facts about the cities they passed, and checked out folk dances and ethnic sports in our multi-ethnic country. The quest was organized in cooperation with Artek, Russian Railways, the Artek Support Fund, and the Ethnic and Non-Olympic Sports Foundation.

The quest crowned the first Country of Railways profile session at Artek. Young people from specialised groups of young railway workers shared their knowledge about safety on the train and on the tracks with others, talked about the history and development of rail service in Russia and much more – all in a playful and understandable format.

“We are working with Artek for the first time, and the attendees say this session was very useful, not only because they learned new skills, but also because it helped them decide on their future profession,” says program manager Natalya Dulesova. “For us, this cooperation was important, because Artek combines the accumulated experience of many institutions in education. RZD had previously worked with kids, but this is the first time that we have worked with a large and experienced organization like Artek.

Young railway staff had something to share with their peers. During the session, they studied the advanced technologies of augmented virtual reality and 3D modeling, robotics and a safety and security culture. The young people were able to better assess their own possibilities in choosing a career path and got an idea of the skills needed at emotional maturity and personal growth workshops. But what really played a special role in the new group’s program, was the fascinating experience with the versatile life of Russian railways.

The students visited Vologda, Samara, St. Petersburg, Chita, Khabarovsk and 13 other Russian cities as part of the quest. At various stations, they built trains, took quizzes or charades and tried on Russian Railways uniforms. And most importantly, they became increasingly aware of Russia: the specifics of railway stations in all 18 cities, interesting facts, cultural traditions and the traditional dances of the peoples of Russia

Arina Tishchenko from Irkutsk tried to interest the other kids in a railway profession and offered them a quiz on railway-related films. Alexei Konyushenko from Moscow came up with another quest – to build the Crimean bridge from paper and run the first transport vehicle along it.

The youth who came to Artek from abroad found the quest especially interesting. Students from as many as 34 countries in the CIS, Europe and Africa attended this session at the youth center.

“We don’t call the railways the arteries of the country for nothing. They have already become part of our culture and an integral part of Russia. It was interesting to learn that stations in each city have their own characteristics,” says Ivo Atanasov from Bulgaria. “I was most impressed with Tula, where we were asked to guess its emblem, and I thought it should include a samovar. That turned out to be wrong, and I realized I had become a victim of stereotypes.”

“It’s like I returned from a trip to Russian cities,” Alexei Nevsky from Kirov said. “I never knew Vladivostok was called the city of railways, because there are a lot of stations and railways there. I was thinking about a railway career before, but now I’m really interested.”

The Russia from a Train Window quest completed The Country of Railways program. In the fall, 500 young railway staff from all over the country will come to Artek to do a session on this subject.