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Topic: Re: Rail Advice Needed - ...
Author: tUt
January 30, 2015, 08:31:06 pm
Topic: Re: Rail Advice Needed - ...
Message: tUt - Thanks for the detailed reply with great information - Regarding Como
Author: utahpow4me
January 30, 2015, 03:02:30 pm
Topic: Re: Rail Advice Needed - ...
Author: tUt
January 30, 2015, 01:00:29 pm
Topic: Rail Advice Needed - Sept...
Message: Looking for most economical way to travel by train. Our itinerary is already set,
Author: utahpow4me
January 30, 2015, 04:23:23 am
Topic: Re: Croatia to Albania
Message:   Great thanks again.  And will be usually booking in early Feb (as I always get the best
Author: warlord
January 21, 2015, 04:02:09 pm
Russia (RZD) E-mail

Country info: Russia (Россия)

Rail companies: RZD (Российские Железные Дороги)

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

Russian Rail Network Map 

Currency: 1 euro =app. 50 Russian Rubles (RUB) 


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


National Train Service:

Train types in Russian Federation: Suburban (пригородные); Suburban Express (скрорые пригородные); Local (местные); Passenger long-distance (дальние пассажирские); Express (скорые) & High-speed (скоростные)


Long-distance trains (Passenger or Express) can also be 'upgraded' having so-called 'brand', which makes them 'Branded Trains' (фирменные поезда). RZD 'branded' trains are easy to recognize since they usually have special train name (like Rossija for Moscow-Vladivostok, Amber for Moscow-Kaliningrad, Red Arrow for Moscow-St.Petersburg etc.), painted in some unique livery, have newer carriages and faster travel time compared to other trains

  • Suburban/Commuter (пригородные) – commuter service mainly around big cities & towns, usually run for not more than 200km. No seat reservation required, special commuter tariff applies. RZD suburban trains have a 4 digit number starting with 6***
  • Suburban Express (скрорые пригородные ) – express commuter service, with less stops & compulsory seat reservation. Suburban Express trains have 4 digit number starting with 7***
  • Local (местные) - train service exceeding suburban in terms of distance (although mainly less than standard long-distance), routes of local trains usually stay inside a region or connect two neighboring regions, seat/bed reservation compulsory. Local trains have 3 digit number starting with 6**
  • Passenger (пассажирские) – 'classical' long-distance (usually overnight) trains found all over Russian Federation (with average route speed <50 km/h), seat/bed reservation compulsory. Passenger trains in Russia have 3 digit number starting with 3**, 4** (seasonal) or 5** (additional)
  • Express (скорые) - fast long-distance trains (with average route speed >50 km/h), seat/bed reservation compulsory. Express trains have 3 digit numbers between 1-150 and between 181-298
  • High-Speed (скоростные) – high-speed 'Sapsan' (Siemens Velaro RUS) EMU (service connecting   St.Peterburg, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod), 'Swallow' (Siemens Desiro RUS) on St.Petersburg to Novgorod/Bologoe & 'Allegro' (Alstom Pendolino) conneting St.Petersburg and Helsinki. High-Speed trains in Russia have 3 digit number between 151-178

NB: in Russia for domestic journeys ticket and seat reservation are printed on one ticket sheet


Types of carriages in RZD trains:

  • Common ('общий вагон') – 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 Local & Passenger trains) 
  • Sitting ('сидячий') – various seating carriages used in Suburban, Suburban Express, Passenger, Express & High-Speed trains, can be aircraft type salon (1st, 2nd or 3rd class) or compartments (1st or 2nd class)
  • 'Platskartnyi' (плацкартный) – 3rd class couchette carriage (3/6) with an open compartments & 54 berths (beds from #1-36 located in the open compartments, while beds from #37-54 are on the side, thus opposite to compartments, odd numbers are lower berths, even – upper. Bed reservation required. 'Platskartnyi' carriages used in Local, Passenger & Express trains 
  • '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 used in Local, Passenger & Express 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 RZD in international trains (from Moscow to Budapest, Warsaw, Berlin, Paris etc.), 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 used in Local, Passenger & Express trains 


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

  • Since 2013 Russian Railways (RZD) introduced new ticket fare scheme for rail journeys within Russia - earlier purchase gives cheaper price, so when passengers buys ticket 45 days in advance (ticket sale start for Russian domestic tickets) he or she will pay the lowest possible fare. However passenger buying same ticket on the day of departure will pay higher price compared to the standard base tariff. At the moment such "dynamic" price scheme works for two dozen of major routes (e.g. Moscow-Saint Petersburg-Moscow, Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod-Moscow, Moscow-Voronezh-Moscow, Moscow-Smolensk-Moscow, Moscow-Adler-Moscow, Moscow-Ekaterinburg-Moscow, Moscow-Kazan-Moscow, Moscow-Kislovodsk-Moscow, Saint Petersburg-Nizhny Novgorod-Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg-Voronezh-Saint Petersburg etc. From June 1, 2014 another dozen of most important routes (like Moscow-Saratov-Moscow, Vladivostok-Khabarovsk etc.) will be added
  • On certain routes domestic RZD also offers special price for tickets bought in advance (offer "Plan in Advance"), while buying tickets for 'kupe' carriages 45-31 days in advance passenger received up to 50% discount (when trains depart 01.01. - 24.04.2014 & 15.09. - 24.12.2014) or 20% discount (departures rest of the year). Although at the same time ticket purchase less than 10 days in advance will be accompanied by ticket fare 5% or 10% higher
  • Another way to save on rail tickets in Russia is to take advantage of seasonal indexations of domestic rail tariff in Russia. The 2014 table ('kupe' and 'lux' carriages) as follows:
                Period Valid # of days
    Indexation Coefficient
1 January - 12 January
12 1,1 (higher by 10%
13 January - 6 March
53 0,9 (cheaper by 10%)
7 March - 10 March 4 1,15 (higher by 15%)
11 March - 24 April
0,9 (cheaper by 10%)
25 April - 7 May
13 1,15 (higher by 15%)
8 May - 9 May
0,5 (cheaper by 50%)
10 May - 11 May 2
1,15 (higher by 15%)
12 May - 29 May 18
0,9 (cheaper by 10%)
30 May - 14 September
108 1,15 (higher by 15%)
15 September - 30 October
0,9 (cheaper by 10%)
31 October - 4 November
5 1,15 (higher by 15%)
5 November - 24 December
 0,9 (cheaper by 10%)
25 December - 29 December
1,15 (higher by 15%)
30 December - 31 December 2 1,2 (higher by 20%)

What it is all means? It means that passenger will pay only 50% of the regular fare in 'kupe' or 'Lux/SV' carriages on a long distance routes once he or she start their journey on May 8 or 9, although on the contrary passenger pays from 5% to 20% extra (compared to standard fare) once he or she start the journey during summer vacations time or in late December)


Traveling by train in Russia can be rather expensive, especially for passengers planning to visit many destinations or travel to the far east parts of Russian Federation. For instance journey on one of the most popular travel routes from Moscow to Vladivostok on the well-known Russian train Rossija (#1/2) lasts 145 hours and 9259 km, while ticket for such experience in 'kupe' carriage costs around 20k rubles (~400 euro) one way, expensive isn't it?

However there are some tricks on how it is possible to save money on such long distance travels in Russia. One is international train tickets for domestic Russian journeys, best deal here comes probably from Slovakia. Slovak Railwys (ZSSK) sell special CityStar ticket to Russia, which under certain conditions can be a good option for Trans Siberian travel. Let's look at some numbers of Slovakia-Russia CityStar (via Ukraine): CityStar ticket (Russia >1500km) costs 134,4 euro (one adult), while each next passenger pays only 50% or 67,2 euro, and that is the ticket price for return journey any station in Slovakia-Vladivostok-any station in Slovakia. Although it is only price of the ticket, but potential passengers will still need to buy sleeper reservations for trains they take on the road (unfortunately since a few years ago sleeper reservation for Russian trains aren't that cheap as they used to be, but still). For example sleeper reservation from Bratislava to Moscow (through carriage via Zilina, Kosice and  Ukraine) costs 32 euro, from Moscow to Vladivostok 231 euro(?), from Moskva to Irkutsk 155 euro(?), from Irkutsk to Vladivostok 134 euro(?) etc.

Similar international ticket 'trick' can be played using MPT tickets, for instance for traveling from Moscow to Irkutsk it can be cheaper to purchase international ticket Moscow-Irkutsk-first station in Mongolia (Suhbaatar) and then just get additional sleeper reservation Moscow-Irkutsk



International Train Service:

Tariffs for international tickets used by Russian Railways (RZD):

a) Regular discounts

  • 50% off Hungarian part & 30% off Russian part East-West tariff fare for return journeys between Russia & Hungary via Ukraine
  • 30% discount for seniors (>60 years old) & youth (<26 years old) for global price tickets from Russia to Germany, France, Austria & Czech Republic
  • 20% to 40% discount for groups (6 and more passengers) to many European countries 
  • 10% discount on Russian part for return tickets in connection from Russia to Serbia (via Romania) & from Russia to Montenegro (via Romania, Serbia)
  • 10% discount on Russian part for return tickets in connection from Russia to Romania (via Ukraine)
  • 20% discount for return tickets from Russia to Mongolia & North Korea  

b) Special offers (SparSchiene)

Not available

c) CityStars

Offer similar to CityStar in Russia is called 'Ekonomnye ceny' (Экономные цены), it is available for Russia-Montenegro (via Romania and Bulgaria) & Russia-Slovakia, Russia-Bulgaria connections



How to Buy Train Tickets in Russia:

National (domestic), interstate (to CIS countries) and some international (Global Price fares to Finland, Germany & France) tickets can be purchased via RZD website -



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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