Inside Russia’s end of the world ‘ghost train’ that could have destroyed the USA

Although we typically think of nuclear bombs being dropped by stealth jets, the truth is that the major powers of the Cold War cooked up all sorts of schemes with which to destroy the planet.

From nuclear submarines like Trident to orbital bombing platforms, the Soviet Union and the West were for years engaged in a race to create the most deadly—and stealthy—weaponry.

While the West often adopted an expensive, high-tech approach, the USSR responded with characteristic ingenuity. In fact, its last-ditch weapon wasn't a sub, a jet, or a satellite, but a good old fashioned train.

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Russia's RT 23 Molodets, also known as the nuclear ghost train, was almost completely undetectable yet capable of destroying the coastal USA.

According to Found and Explained, this 'nuclear ghost train' was constantly on the move, travelling around 1000 miles per day, enabling the Soviets to get around the fact that the US had located almost all of Russia's nuclear launch centres.

Created in the 1980s, the train was designed to look like any other passenger train with three locomotives, three launch wagons, and then four railcars masked as a passenger train.

This meant if the US wanted to track down the nuclear train, they would have to hunt down almost every train in Russia.

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It had enough supplies to run for 28 days on its own, so even if Russia's power systems went down, the missiles could be launched in three minutes with a command from Moscow.

The nukes were fired with a 'cold launch', where compressed gas shoots the rockets into the sky before they're ignited. This allowed for safer launches and reusable equipment, as well as launches from almost anywhere in Russia.

As Putin rattles his nuclear sabre once again, the full extent of Russia's nuclear arsenal today remains unclear. But if Doomsday does come, it could very well arrive by train.


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