Where are the train stations in Moscow and what destinations do they go to?
There are nine major train stations in Moscow, all served by the Metro on the circle line. Each station serves a different direction, making turning up at the right station before you travel slightly easier. If you are worried that you may turn up at the wrong station, remember to check the English itinerary that you will have received with your tickets; this will state your departure station. Alternatively, you could book a transfer from your accommodation to the correct station, ensuring you will arrive at the correct place, in plenty of time.
The Russian translation for both the station name and its nearest Metro have been included to help when navigating in Moscow.
|Serves||Kalliningrad, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic and some trains to Latvia.|
|Address||7 Tverskaya Zastava Ploshchad|
|Serves||Central Asia, Ryzan, Ufa, Samara, Kazan, Ulan-Ude and Novorossiisk.|
|Address||2 Komsomolskaya Ploshchad|
|Serves||Western Ukraine, Southeastern Europe and Vnukovo Airport.|
|Address||1 Ploshchad Kievskogo Vokzala|
|Serves||Southern Russia, Caucasus nations, Eastern Ukraine, and Crimea.|
|Address||29 Ulitsa Zemlyanoi Val|
|Translation||Курская / Чкаловская|
|Serves||Estonia, Finland, St. Petersburg and northwestern Russia.|
|Address||3 Komsomolskaya Ploshchad|
|Serves||Voronezh, Tambov, Volgograd, Astrakhan and Domodedovo Airport.|
|Address||1 Paveletskaya Ploshchad|
|Serves||Kostroma, Cherepovets, some trains to Vologda and Sheremetyevo Airport.|
|Address||2 Ploshchad Savyolovskogo Vokzala|
|Serves||Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia and China.|
|Address||5 Komsomolskaya Ploshchad|
|Address||1 Rizhskaya Pl|
Where are the Train Stations in St Petersburg and where do they go?
There are five major train stations in Saint Petersburg, all of which are easily accessible by the Metro. Each station serves a different direction, making turning up at the right station before you travel slightly easier. If you are worried that you may turn up at the wrong station, remember to check the English itinerary that you will have received with your tickets; this will state your departure station on. Alternatively, you could book a transfer from your accommodation to the correct station, ensuring you will arrive at the correct place, in plenty of time.
The Russian translation for both the station name and its nearest Metro have been included to help when navigating in Saint Petersburg.
|Serves||Moscow, far north, Central Asia, Crimea and the Caucasus region.|
|Address||85 Nevsky Av|
|Metro||Ploshchad Vosstaniya or Mayakovskaya|
|Translation||Площадь Восстания/ Маяковская|
First Class Sleeper
First Class carriages are made up of nine cabins, each for two people sharing; though sole occupancy is possible if you buy both tickets. There are usually two lower berths in each cabin that can transform between couch and bed with a small table between them. Occasionally one berth may be above the other, in which case only the bottom bed will transform in to a couch. At each end of the carriage are toilets with washing facilities. A provodnista/provodnik will have a room in the carriage from where they will ensure the carriage is tidy and that all travellers have a point of contact for any problems.
First Class Seated
Seated First Class carriages can generally be found on the Sapsan and Allegro trains. They offer extended leg space and are laid out in much the same way as European trains; with one or two seats either side of an aisle. Luggage space can usually be found to the rear of the carriage.
Second Class Sleeper
Second Class is made up of nine cabins in much the same way as First Class, though there are four people to a cabin rather than two. Though two passengers could buy two tickets each to approximate the feeling of First Class on a much smaller budget. There are two lower bunks that, like First class, perform the function of being both a couch and a bed, with two additional fold out bunks above these; again there is a table between the bottom two bunks. At each end of the carriage are toilets with washing facilities. A provodnista/provodnik will have a room in the carriage from where they will ensure the carriage is tidy and that all travellers have a point of contact for any problems.
Second Class Seated
Second Class seats are laid out in a standard European train configuration with two sets of two seats separated by a small aisle. The seats are comfortable, though without the added leg room of First Class. Luggage space can usually be found to the fore or aft sections of the carriage.
Third Class Sleeper
Third Class is made up of ‘open cabins’, each with space for up to six people. Each ‘cabin’ offers the same two up, two down layout as Second Class (though the beds do not fold up or become sofas) with two additional bunks in the corridor, one above the other. Up to 54 people can travel in each carriage. At each end of the carriage are toilets with washing facilities.
Are there facilities for the disabled?
On select trains travelling between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, such as the Sapsan bullet train, there are carriages designed to enable those with disabilities to enjoy rail travel; with wider corridors and toilet facilities as well as larger cabins.
Unfortunately most trains within Russia do not have facilities designed with disabled people in mind; though this is gradually changing.
Can I travel with Children?
Yes, you can. Children are welcome to travel on Russian trains and receive discounted tickets.
In summary, one child under the age of five may travel for free if they share their place with a paying adult. If the child requires a separate place, or they are aged between 5 and 10, then they are charged at the Child Rate; generally 50% of the regular ticket price.
When travelling with children on long distance trains, such as those on the Trans Siberian Railway, it is worth remembering that there are several sections with no stops for several hours, so you may want to pack travel games and books to help keep children occupied.
Please note: When boarding the train, the child must show either their own passport, be listed in their parent’s passport or have a copy, and translation, of their birth certificate. If the child is listed in a parent’s passport, a photograph must be included for the child to be allowed entry to the train.
On long distance, is bedding provided?
Yes. In Second and Third Classes you will find these either on your bunk, or they will passed out upon boarding the train. They will come in a sealed packet, and you will need to make your own bed. In First Class your bed will be made for you.
The bedding will include a top and bottom sheet, as well as a pillowcase and a towel.
What are the bathroom facilities like?
In general, they are very basic, but suit their purpose. Each bathroom will consist of a toilet and a wash basin. The quality can vary depending on the type of train selected, and the class of ticket purchased. On some of the privately run trains between Moscow and Saint Petersburg showers may even be provided in some classes.
At the beginning of any journey they are clean, though they will deteriorate as the journey progresses. Understandably, the level of deterioration will depend on the class of travel; as there are fewer people in a First Class carriage (up to 18) they will see less use than in the more crowded Third Class (up to 54) for instance.
Remember that on most trains the bathroom facilities are locked for up to half an hour before pulling into a station, the entire time the train is stationary, and then for up to half an hour afterwards. This also means that there may be queues in the time leading up to these periods, particularly in Second and Third Class. Be sure to check any schedule that is displayed on the bathroom door so that you can avoid these times.
We recommend that you think about taking bottled water for brushing your teeth, your own hand towel, and maybe even your own toilet roll in case the on-board provodonista/provodnik have been unable to resupply the bathroom; this is particularly worth remembering in the busier Third Class.
Are showers available?
They are available in some luxury cabins aboard trains such as the Grand Express, but generally this is not the case.
Showers are not widely available, unfortunately, on long distance trains; though you may be able to access one on some trains by paying around 100 roubles to your provodonista/provodnik.
Are food and drink available on the Train?
On many long distance trains you will find a restaurant car that will serve a number of freshly cooked local dishes, as well as hot and cold (soft and alcoholic) drinks. These restaurant cars are not open 24 hours a day so, upon boarding, you should check the opening times to ensure that you do not miss out. The prices vary depending on the train you have chosen, but everything is generally reasonably priced.
You may also find that a trolley of snacks and bottled drinks is wheeled through the train at regular intervals. These prices can vary from reasonable to fairly high.
In each carriage you will find a samovar of hot water that you will have unlimited access to. We recommend taking along tea, coffee and foods that can be eaten by just adding water (such as instant soup and noodles) to make the most of this. Tea and coffee may also be available from the provodonista/provodnik of your carriage for around 20 to 50 roubles. Though they are unlikely to supply you with milk.
If you are lucky enough to make friends with other travellers on-board, particularly Russian travellers, you may be invited to join them, and share their provisions (often home cooked bread or smoked meats) for dinner in their cabin.
Are food and drink available from stations enroute?
Each station that the train stops at along the way will have kiosks and small shops located in and around the departure hall at which you can buy provisions such as snacks and bottled drinks, as well as newspapers and magazines. These are unlikely to remain open 24 hours a day though, so be sure to pick up any supplies you would like during any daytime stops.
Of more interest to most are the local traders who often sell their produce from the train platform, or through the windows of each carriage. Most of what is on offer is home-made, giving you the opportunity to sample a selection of traditional local food throughout Russia and the Trans-Siberian routes. You will mostly find local cheeses, breads, smoked meats and fresh vegetables.
What happens if I have special dietary requirements?
It will depend on your dietary requirements.
Vegetarians should, generally, not have any problems. While meat dishes are prolific in Russia, vegetable dishes will usually be available on any menu that you see, and many of the platform traders along the route will be selling home-made bread as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Those with a gluten or lactose intolerance should also be ok, provided you take any precautions you may do at home; though in many instances it will probably be safer to purchase fresh food from the platform traders as it may be difficult to ask what is in pre-prepared meals in the restaurant car.
Can I smoke on the trains?
No. As of the 1st June 2014, all smoking on suburban and long distance trains has been banned.
Can I smoke at the train stations?
As of the 1st June 2014 smoking has been banned inside, and within 15 metres of the entrance to, all railway stations in Russia. This ban is also extended to all platforms for suburban trains.
Smoking is still allowed on platforms belonging to long distance trains.
New signage has been put in place to make clear where you can, and cannot, smoke. Please pay extra attention to any smoking prohibitions as there can be severe fines for anyone breaking these rules.
What should I pack for a long distance train or overnight train?
While this may vary from person to person, we recommend that you take:
Light clothes, such as t-shirts, shorts or jogging bottoms as Russian trains are very well heated, particularly in the winter.
Slippers, sandals or flip-flops as Russians prefer that you do not wear outdoor footwear inside.
Toiletries such as toothpaste, liquid soap and deodorant.
Bottled water and soft drinks.
Tea and coffee.
Dried foods to be rehydrated with water from the Samovar.
General food and snacks to suit your tastes.
Personal first aid kit.
Carrier bags to store your rubbish. These can be deposited in a bin area at the end of the carriage.
Something with which to pass the time; books, magazines, playing cards, tablet computers or music for example.
What is the luggage allowance?
The maximum allowed hand luggage is 36kg for Second and Third Class, 50kg for First Class, and the dimensions (height, length and width) cannot exceed a combined total of 180cm.
Bear in mind that you will want to stow your luggage once on-board (in the storage provided under the bottom bunk for instance) and so you will not want it to be too big and bulky as it will not be able to fit.
Can I take a bike with me?
It is possible to transport bikes on Russian trains provided the bike can be broken down and packaged small enough (wheels and peddles removed for instance) to fit in the space allotted for luggage. The easiest solution to this question is to buy a whole cabin, First or Second Class, so that you have space to yourself for storage. Where storage within a cabin is not possible it will be necessary to purchase a ticket for the baggage car.
Are there electrical outlets?
In First Class there is an electrical outlet in every room, in addition to low power outlets in each bathroom.
In Second Class there are generally two sockets in the corridor, in addition to low power outlets in each bathroom.
In Third Class you will only find the low power outlets in the bathrooms.
Outside of First Class, the available outlets are in high demand. If you are able, we would advise taking spare batteries for your electrical devices where possible, or investing in a portable travel charger so that you do not need to rely on the power outlets.
Is Wi-Fi available?
As a rule, no.
It is available, though, on a small number of trains between Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Helsinki such as the Allegro and Sapsan rail services. The number of routes, and services, on which Wi-Fi is available is increasing all the time.
Do I need to speak Russian to travel on Russian trains?
No, you do not. While it is always helpful, and we would recommend, memorising a few phrases, you should be able to get by without learning any Russian.
Be aware, though, that outside of the larger cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg, very few people will speak, and very little will be written in, English, or other languages. Even within the major cities you may find use of languages other than Russian limited.
Before leaving for your trip, it may be worth investing in a simple phrase book, or downloading one of the many translation apps available for your mobile devices.
Will I need a Visa?
Yes. For any journey within Russia, or along the Trans-Siberian railway, visas will be required. There are a variety of different visas depending on how long you intend to stay in a country and how many times you intend to leave and re-enter.
How do I register my Visa on a long Journey?
If you arrive in Russia before continuing on very soon after to your final destination, such as arriving in Moscow on Saturday before leaving for Vladivostok on Sunday (a journey of more than three days), then you should keep copies of all travel tickets (rail or otherwise) in order to present them to any official who asks.
When you arrive at your final destination you should then register your visa as soon as possible.
Will I need travel Insurance?
Yes, travel insurance is very important when travelling in Russia and along the Tran-Siberian routes. Travel Insurance is strongly recommended and now you can buy here online with a 25% discount https://chitravelinsurance.agaassistance.com.au/?AgencyId=15589″