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Belarus (BC) E-mail

Country info: Belarus (Беларусь)

Rail companies: BC (Беларуская Чыгунка)

For more detailed information about train schedules and fares you can also address our forum

Belarus Rail Network Map 

Currency: 1 euro = app. 23000 Belarus rubles (BYR)


Train travel in Belarus: train types, tickets, fares, discounts & other useful info

 

National Train Service:

Train types in Belarus: Urban (городские), Regional (региональные), InterRegional (межрегиональные) & International (международные) trains

bch_long-distance_train

InterRegional & International trains can also be 'upgraded' and called 'Branded Trains' (фирменные) . BCh 'branded' trains are easy to recognize since they usually have special train name (e.g. 'Belarus' Minsk to Moscow # 1/2 train, 'White Stork' Minsk to Kyiv # 85/86 train), painted in some unique livery, have somewhat newer carriages and faster travel time compared to other trains on the same route

  • Urban (marked as 'CL' on BC website): urban & partly suburban service around Minsk area (Minsk to Rudensk & Minsk to Zhdanovichi), no seat reservation required 
  • Regional (marked as 'RLe' & 'RLb' on BC website  ): Regional Lines(economy) & Regional Lines(business) service on short & medium distance routes all over Belarus, usually connecting cities & towns within one administrative region. RLe (previously were known as suburban/пригородные) have 4 digit number starting with 6*** (no seat reservation required), while RLb have 3 digit number starting with 8** (seat reservation compulsory)
  • InterRegional (marked as 'IRLe' & 'IRLb' on BC website): long-distance trains connecting major Belarus cities & towns (previously interregional were known as 'Passenger' & 'Fast' trains), seat/bed reservation required. IRL train have 3 digit number up to 699
  • International (marked as 'IL' on BC website ): international (interstate) trains from Belarus to Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria & Kazakhstan, seat/bed reservation required. IL trains have 3 digit number up to 699                 

NB: in Belarus for domestic journeys ticket and seat/bed reservation are printed on the one ticket sheet

Types of carriages in BC trains:

  • Common (общий): mainly 'platskartnyi' couchette carriage where not 54 berths (as in usual 'platskartnyi') are sold, but 81 seats, thus basically turning couchette carriage into seating carriage, seat reservation compulsory (used in some InterRegional & International trains)
  • Sitting (сидячий) various seating carriages used in Urban, Regional, InterRegional & International trains, mainly aircraft type salon (1st, 2nd or 3rd class)
  • Platskartnyi (плацкартный): 3rd class couchette carriage (3/6) with an open compartments & 54 berths (beds #1-36 located in the open compartments, while beds # 37-54 are on the side, thus opposite to compartments, odd numbers are lower berths, even – upper. Bed reservation required. 'Platskartnyi' carriages can be found in InterRegional & International trains
  • bch_local_train
    Kupe (купе): 2nd class sleeper carriage (2/4) with 'closed' compartments for 4 passengers, odd numbers are lower beds, even – upper. Bed reservation required. 'Kupe' carriages can be found in InterRegional & International trains
  • Soft (мягкий): 2nd class sleeper carriage (2/3) with 'closed' compartments for 3 passengers (standard RIC type), where all 3 beds located are located on one side of the compartment. Usually this type of carriages used by BC in international trains (e.g. Minsk to Warsaw), bed reservation required
  • Lux ('люкс' or as well known as 'СВ'): 1st sleeper carriage (1/2) with compartments for 2 passengers, both beds are lower ones, bed reservation required. 'Lux' carriages can be found in InterRegional & International trains

 

Discounts, special offers & ways to save money for passengers traveling by train in Belarus (BC):

Belarus is perhaps cheapest country in Europe when we speak about rail travels & train ticket fares. It is possible to travel across the entire country for as low as 5-10 euro (ticket+reservation included) in sleeper ('kupe') of InterRegional or International trains, while trips with Regional trains are even cheaper. Thus the only good suggestion for rail travelers to Belarus - enjoy BC domestic tariff while it is still so cheap and affordable.


International Train Service:

Tariffs for international tickets used by by Belarus Railways (BC):

  • for connection to Europe it is special East-West tariff, tariff currency - Euro
  • for connection to former USSR countries it is special MGPT tariff, which is cheaper than East-West, but more expensive than domestic one, tariff currency – Swiss Francs
  • for connections to China, Mongolia, Vietnam & North Korea it is MPT tariff, tariff currency – Swiss Francs
vitebsk_train_station

a) Regular discounts

No info available

b) Special offers (SparSchiene)

  • For journeys from Belarus to Russia (Moscow, St.Petersburg, Novosibirsk, etc.) passengers can save 15% of the ticket fare ('kupe' & 'lux') if they purchase trains ticket 60-31 day in advance or 10% with 30-21 days in advance ticket purchase (however when buying ticket less than 10 days before the journey it will be 5% more expensive). Offer doesn't work for trains # 25/26 & # 1/2 as well as holiday period (01.01—10.01.2016 и 23.12—31.12.2016)
  • For journeys from Belarus to Russia offered 20% discount for purchasing return tickets
  • For journeys from Belarus to Russia applies 0,9 coefficient for berths 37 till 54 in 'platskartnyi' carriages (= tickets are 10% than usual)
  • For journeys from Belarus to Latvia (Riga, Daugavpuils etc.) with train # 87/88 passengers can save 15% of the ticket fare if they purchase trains ticket 60-31 day in advance or 10% with 30-21 days in advance ticket purchase (however when buying ticket less than 10 days before the journey it will be 5% more expensive)

c) CityStars

No info available

 

For passengers planning trips from Belarus to Russia or Ukraine it might be interesting to know one small and totally legit trick which can save quite a lot of money. Ticket fares on journeys between Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are calculated with a help of 'interstate' (MGPT) tariff having Swiss Francs as tariff currency, while Belarus domestic tariff is calculated in Belarussian ruble (BYR) and is way cheaper compared to Swiss Francs based 'interstate' tariff. Thus the whole 'trick' consists of minimizing leg for which passengers pays using interstate tariff, while maximizing the one for which BCh domestic tariff is applied.

To give some examples how the 'trick' actually works in real life. For instance, Brest to St.Petersburg 'kupe' ticket (train №50) costs at the moment around 2 000 000 BYR (≈90 euro), which is wat too much for the train ticket in this part of Europe. But how can we bring down our expenses for the journey? Very simply, first purchase domestic BCh ticket for the same Brest-St.Petersburg train till the last Belarus station before the Russian border (in this case it will be Gorodok) for 175 000 BYR (≈7,50 euro), while, as next step, just purchase second ticket (now it will be already 'interstate' one) from Gorodok to St.Petersburg (1 100 000 BYR or ≈50 euro) for the same train №50 with which you'll arrive from Brest. It won't be difficult to purchase second ticket even for the same carriage & berth as your first Brest-Gorodok ticket. What we doing here is minimizing interstate ticket leg and maximizing domestic Belarus ticket leg, such operation gives us a difference (2 000 000 BYR for the direct ticket Brest-St.Petersburg or 175 000 + 1 100 000 BYR for the combination Brest to Gorodok & Gorodok to St.Petersburg) of roughly 700 000 BYR (≈30 euro) of saved money out of nothing. Same 'trick' works with all the connections BCh-RZD/UZ where Belarus leg is long enough (e.g. from Minsk to Kyiv with train #86 (direct 'kupe' ticket is about 1 300 000 BYR) vs. same train #86 but with two tickets, first from Minsk to Gomel (130 000 BYR) + Gomel-Kyiv (900 000 BYR) with about 200 000 BYR win out of nothing and so on)

 

Special cross-border fares to neighboring countries:

  • Poland: from Brest to Terespol & from Grodno to Kuźnica Białostock one-way ticket for equivalent of 16,90 PLN (+1 CHF of BCh commission), from Grodno to Bialystok 29,90 PLN (+1 CHF of BCh commission), from Brest to Biała Podlaska 25,90 PLN (+1 CHF of BCh commission), etc.
  • Russia & Ukraine: for cross-border regional trains from Belarus to Russia & Ukraine (till the first 'foreign' station) tickets are calculated using BC domestic tariff for regional trains (roughly 1600 BYR for every 5 km)
minsk_train_station

 

How to Buy Train Tickets in Belarus:
Passengers can purchase national (domestic) and some international/interstate tickets via Belarus Railways (BC) website - www.poezd.rw.by
gomel_train_station

 

Do you still have further questions or want to share your own travel experience? You are welcome on our Forum page



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