Russian trains

Traveling Russia by train is a very unique experience. The most famous part is the Trans-Siberian Railway, which is the longest railway in the world. It takes around 156 hours (with the slower trains) to travel 9258 km from Moscow to Vladivostok. During such a long train ride, you have plenty of time to meet local Russian people, who are always eager to share drinks and stories with you. The scenery you pass by is mostly untouched nature and little old villages once in a while. Below is some of the basic information, which you will need when you travel Russia by train.

The train schedules for all trains in Russia can be found at:
http://eng.rzd.ru/isvp/public/rzdeng/express?STRUCTURE_ID=46
When searching for train schedules you have to enter the Russian name of the city (e.g. Moskva instead of Moscow). Everywhere in Russia the train schedules are in Moscow time (so clocks at the train stations all over Russia also show Moscow time instead of local time).

Trains with a lower number are more modern and faster. The trains with very high numbers can be in pretty bad conditions (e.g. no power sockets, old milky windows where you can hardly see through).

Russian sleeping trains have three classes: Platzkart (3rd class), Kupe (2nd class), SV (1st class). With the Citystar ticket you can get a reservation for Platzkart or Kupe. In a Kupe, four people share a compartment. Platzkart does not have compartments. When you have a bottom bed in Platzkart it could happen that your bed is converted into a table during daytime (so I heard).

The Trans-Siberian trains depart in Moscow from the Yaroslavsky Rail Terminal. Tickets and reservations can also be bought their. However, be aware that normally people at the ticket counter don’t speak any English at all.

Taking a shower in Russian trains is not possible, so you should consider taking at least one extra stop, for example in Irkutsk, if you go all the way from Moscow to Vladivostok.

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