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|How to travel by Russian passenger trains?|
In this section you'll find out about the different types of Russian passenger train, types of cars,
seat numbering, and other useful information about travelling on Russian trains.
Train types Classes of accommodation Life on board Security
||Most long distance trains classify by service level and speed movement:
Tip: If you want to travel on a fast, comfortable train, look for a fast 'firm' train (train numbers between 1 and 160).
- fast train ('skorry poezd') - Train number from 1 to 160. Very comfortable and quickly trains with minimum stops (only large stations). More convenient arrival/departure hours (departure at night, arrival at the morning).
Average speed - 70-90 km/h.
- fast train with special name ('firmeny poezd') - All the same, only additional service
level (cleaner cars, politer attendants). Because of Firm title you'll be pay additonal fee
- about 10 %. Trains example: The
'Rossia' , connecting
Moscow and Vladivostok,
and the 'Krasnaya Strella' or 'Red Arrow', connecting
Moscow and Petersburg. Average speed - 60 km/h
- passenger train ('passazhirskiy poezd') - Train number from 170 to 870. Looks like an intercity
train with great number of additional stops. Average speed - 40-50 km/h.
- speed train ('skorostnoj poezd') - Train number from 161 to 169. Very comfortable trains with
average speed 100 km/h. All cars equipped by video, bar, comfortable seats.
|Classes of accommodation:
||There are 3 main classes of accommodation:
1st class, Lux
|Open-plan dormitory cars
|Spal'ny Vagon (1st class, Lux)
||2-berth compartments, 9 compartments per coach. Both beds are at the lower level.
Washrooms and toilets are at the end of the corridor. Equipped by conditioner,
small wash-stand integrated into table.
|Kupe (2nd class)
|4-berth compartments, 9 compartments per coach. Washrooms and
toilets are at the end of the corridor. Equipped by conditioner, additional berth for luggage.
|Platskartny (3rd class)
|Open-plan dormitory cars. There are 54 bunks per coach, arranged in bays of 4 on one side of the
aisle and bays of 2 along the coach wall on the other side of the aisle.
Tip: Bottom berths have odd numbers (1,3,5 etc.), upper berths have even numbers (2,4,6,8 etc.).
See also: Russian Railway Trains Seats numeration scheme - [site link]
Each train consists of 7-18 sleeping-cars of different types
(so-called 'sostav' or 'poezd') with additional cars (luggage van,
restaurant car) and one train superintendent's car ('nachalnik poezda').
If you have any problem with tickets or service level, you should find
superintendent to solve the problem. You can walk between cars through special gangways.
Tip: you can locate the superintendent's car by looking for the large
loop aerial on the roof of the train. This car is usually found in the middle of the train.
|Life on board:
||What's inside train ?
Whichever class of travel you choose, each coach is looked after by a
pair of attendants called a 'provodnik' (male) or 'provodnitsa' (female).
The provodnik will check your ticket at the door to the sleeper
when you board. Shortly after departure, the provodnik will come round
to take your ticket and the small bedding fee (about 1 EUR).
be asked if you would like a glass of black Russian tea ('chai') - this
costs about 0.2 EUR. Bedding (two sheets, pillowcase and towel) is then
handed out in sealed packs - blankets and mattresses will already be
stacked in your compartment. After a few journeys, you will become
quite proficient at making up your bed!
A boiler with unlimited free hot water is available at the end of the
corridor - pack some tea or coffee, sugar, cuppa soups or water-based
drinking chocolate and bring your own mug.
Most long distance trains
have a restaurant car serving drinks, snacks, and inexpensive full meals
- reckon on less than 5 EUR for two courses and a couple of bottles of beer.
Also you can use first aid kit in case of emergency free of charge.
Tip: Remember that most Russian trains aren't fitted with retention-toilets
(as on planes) and the toilets discharge onto the track.
For that reason, the toilets will be locked by the coach
attendants about 30 min. before arriving at stations until
about 30 min. after departure.
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||Security infromation about Russnian trains
There is no particular need to worry about security on Russian trains,
as long as you use common sense, lock your door at night and don't leave
valuables unattended in your compartment. In addition to the normal lock
on the compartment door, 'Spalny Wagon' and 'kupe' compartments have a
security latch which stops the door opening more than an inch or two,
and which cannot be released from outside.
There's also a safe place for
your bags at night - if you have a bottom bunk, there is a metal box
underneath the bunk which you can only get to by lifting up the bunk -
in other words, for anyone to get to your bags, they will have to shift
you off your bunk first! Your provodniks will probably also lock the
access doors at each end of the corridor at night to prevent unwanted guests.
Tip: we recommend you keep your luggage safe in the box underneath the bottom bunk.
Special thanks to Mark Smith (1st,3d class trains photos, text fragments, help with translation)- site
newspaper Magistral (2nd class, outdoor trains photos).