A selection of train photos taken by Mikhail Korotkov. MUST CREDIT: Photos by Mikhail Korotkov.


“Trainspotter” Mikhail Korotkov poses for a portrait in an undisclosed location. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Vladislav Fomenko.

RIGA, Latvia - For Mikhail Korotkov, a lifelong "trainspotter," one unusual train on Russia's railways became an obsession - like stalking a rare, shy beast.

Korotkov, 31, spent years tracking and photographing President Vladimir Putin's special hush-hush, deluxe armored train. He was the first enthusiast to post an image of the train - sleek sliver with red-and-gray detailing, often pulled by multiple boxy locomotives - online in 2018. "Mere mortals do not travel on such a train," Korotkov wrote.