And activists say the plan to save it could make things much worse.
Ever wonder what it's like to summit Mount Everest? Now's your chance to find out.
The train helped me get a better idea of what is most interesting about this very large corner of the planet, how the various pieces fit together, and what it all might mean for the future.
In 2008, a Russian newspaper and TV channel held a massive competition to name the official "Seven Wonders of Russia." Topping the list was a place that few international tourists visit due to its remote location: the "Blue Eye of Siberia," the "Sacred Sea," sickle-shaped Lake Baikal.
It's affordable, steeped in history and, in parts, both bizarre and incredibly beautiful. Plus, in some countries, beer is cheaper than water. Yes, really, it is. But for some reason, Eastern Europe doesn't often feature on many travellers' bucket lists.
The train's first stop Moscow. This capital city was much brighter and stylish than I had remembered.