The dates when we have to buy our train tickets come closer and closer (it’s 25th or 26th of May), so it’s the last time to decide which train we will take.
There were 3 main options:
We have to be in Shanghai on 21st of July at latest. Train from Urumqi to Shanghai goes daily and takes 3 days (departs evening, arrives midday). -> We have to be in Urumqi on 19th at latest, which is Sunday. Train from Almaty to Urumqi goes 2 days a week and arrives either on Monday or on Wednesday. Monday, 20th is too late for us, so 15th, Wednesday would be fine. In this case we have to depart from Almaty on 13th of July (evening).
Train from Moscow to Almaty goes every 2nd day. In order for us to be in Almaty on 13th, we have to take train which departs from Moscow on 9th July evening. So, departing from Riga on 8th evening, which means 2 not 1 extra days of vacation (not sure whether possible for all of us).
Looking from start – if we are in Urumqi on 15th, we can go to Xian with train 1086 (Urumqi – Jinan) and be there on 17th, visit Terracotta Army (takes 3h + getting to/from = 5h) and see city. Then leave in the evening to either Shanghai or Beijing.
This means, we are in Shanghai on 18th round 2pm and can spend there 4,5 days till evening of 22nd. Then go to Beijing, arrive there 23rd before noon and spend there 3 days before departing home on 26th.
This means, we are in Beijing on 18th round 10am and can spend there 3days, 2 nights till evening of 20th. Then go to Shanghai, arrive there 21st before noon and spend there 4,5days before departing home on 25th night.
Riga-Moscow(Rizskaja)(004р) – daily, 18:10-12:16, 17:06h (departs 1st day, arrives 2nd)
Moscow(Pavlieckaja)-Almaty(007ц) – every 2nd, 22:50-07:14, 78:24h (departs 1st day, arrives 5th)
Almaty-Urumqi(014ц) – Mon,Sat, 23:58-08:58, 31:00h (departs 1st day, arrives 3rd)
Urumqi-Shanghai(T54) – daily, 17:20-14:31, 45:11h (departs 1st day, arrives 3rd)
Urumqi-Xian(to Jinan,1086), 21:48-07:29, 33:41h (departs 1st day, arrives 3rd)
http://www.tielu.org (+ google translate automatic language detection)