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Russian Railway
June 29, 2009 17:32


Red Arrow

Travelling by Russian trains is fast, convenient and secure and you can get your train tickets without leaving your house.

You can purchase the tickets in real-time booking system. Choose dates, time, destinations and seats here.

The Russian rail network is stretching from the Baltic coast in Europe to the Pacific cost in Asia. There are many different types of passenger train on the network. Russian trains generally fall into one of the following categories: Firmeny, Skory, Passenger train.

Passenger train

The ordinary Passenger train proves for the transport of people, it is not a postal or general goods train that also takes passengers. The average speed of these trains is no more than 50 kmph and the quality of these services varies from good to poor.

Skory train

The Skory trains are faster than an ordinary passenger train with an average speed of 50 kmph or higher, typically with fewer and shorter stops.

Firmeny train

The Firmeny trains are long distance trains operated by a private company. They usually have a name, a low train number and they are faster, cleaner, more comfortable (as well as more expensive) than other trains. Train 2, “Rossia” (Russia) which connects Moscow and Vladivostok and train 2A, “Krasnaya Strella” (Red Arrow) which connects Moscow and Petersburg are two of the more famous firmeny trains.

Life on a board of the Russian 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. You may be asked if you would like a glass of black Russian tea (chai). Bedding (two sheets, pillowcase and towel) is then handed out in sealed packs - blankets and mattresses will already be stacked in your compartment. A samovar with unlimited free hot water is available at the end of the corridor - pack some tea or coffee, sugar, soups or water-based drinking chocolate and bring your own mug. Most long distance trains have a restaurant car serving drinks, snacks, and full meals.

Security. Are Russian trains safe for families or single women?

Yes! There is no need to worry about the security on Russian trains, even for women travelling alone. How do you think Russian families or solo women travel? By train, of course, like everyone else! Just use common sense as you would in a hotel, locking your door at night and not leaving valuables unattended in your compartment. In addition to the normal lock on the compartment door, '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 - for anyone to get to your bags, they will have to shift you off your bunk first!

Men and women share the same compartments in Russia, but it's generally quite safe for women travelling alone. If you're a woman and find yourself in sharing with three men that make you uncomfortable, just ask the provodniks (carriage attendants) if they can move you.

From Moscow to St. Petersburg by train

Moscow-St Petersburg is the most popular route in Russia. There are a few daytime trains taking between 5.5 - 7 hours, but this trip is usually done overnight by comfortable sleeper train.

The most historic Moscow-St Petersburg train and still one of the best is the “Krasnya Strela” or “Red Arrow”. This was Russia's premier train in Soviet times; it leaves both Moscow (Leningradski station) & St Petersburg (Oktyabrskaya/Moskovskaya station) at 23:55, arriving at 08:30 next morning.

The Classic Trans Siberian tour starts and ends in St Petersburg. The Classic Trans Siberian is an Adventure tour that takes 19 days taking you through St Petersburg, China and other destinations in China.

 

The Russia Expedition - Winter Trans-Siberian Adventure tour starts in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok. The Russia Expedition - Winter Trans-Siberian Adventure is an Expedition tour that takes 15 days taking you from Moscow to Vladivostok and through other destinations in Europe. 

 

Ushakova Alexandra


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