A combination of the mystique garnered through strained East-West relations and a few too many viewings of Dr. Zhivago have left many people with a strong, romantic desire to ride the train across a frozen Russian countryside. For many, a visit to Russia and its vast expanses are imaginable only from the window of a slow-moving passenger train. So be it.
With the recent introduction of online ticket purchasing (currently available only in Russian), the Russian Railways may slowly be moving into the 21st century. This presents a great opportunity for savings for Transsiberian travelers (and others) who can now make arrangements themselves rather than relying on a Russian or Russia-specialized travel agency to make the arrangements for them. Tickets purchased online can be picked up at the e-ticket window of all long-distance train stations.
Here a few more links to help you plan your Russian train journey.
My good friend Ruth put together this great page full of information on Russian trains and transport in general.
When planning my own Transsiberian trip, I was often to be found on the Thorntree, Lonely Planet’s message board. They have a sticky note just on Russian trains and the Transsiberian. If you have general questions, the folks there can answer them as well as anyone.