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Types of Trains on the Russian Railroads
October 29, 2012 17:30


Travelling by train has always been a great alternative to either air or car. There is nothing better than a rocking carriage that takes you past vast expanses of terrain and sweeping views of hills and lakes. 

As far as Russia is concerned, train travel is a definitive favourite: it is economical and comfortable, compared to air travel and car trips. You don't break a bank, and you avoid the terrifying prospect of being stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere or spending hours in a traffic jam.

There are several types of trains that operate in Russia. Whilst some of these may be familiar to a foreign visitor, especially if you are from the UK, others are much more unique.

Sapsan Train

This a Pendolino-type train that runs along the following routes: Moscow - St Petersburg, St Petersburg - Moscow, Moscow - Vladimir. The train consists of 10 carriages, these being divided between the 1st and 2nd class. All carriages are seated. Food and drinks are included in the ticket price for 1st class ticket holders; for others, there is a bistro located between two of the second class carriages where you can sit down to a meal. 1st class ticket holders also get free newspapers, a personal hygiene kit and a special kit for passengers travelling with kids. Special areas are reserved for disabled passengers.

Allegro Train

Another Pendolino train, under a lovely name of Allegro, connects St Petersburg and Helsinki. The name of the train means "fast" in Italian: indeed, the speed of the train reportedly reaches 220km/h. Whereas before the distance between St Petersburg and Helsinki could be covered in 5.5 hours, the time has been reduced to 3.5 hours since Allergo trains went into operation. The train consists of 7 carriages and a bistro wagon and transports 350 passengers.

Russian Train Tickets Booking

Rossia Train

This is a special branded train that serves the Trans-Siberian railway, connecting Moscow and Vladivostok. The first of its kind went into operation in 1966. Since a traveller on the Trans-Siberian railroad spends nearly 7 days on the train, the train consists of sleeping compartments and is equipped with fridges, microwaves, shower cabins, as well as ironing rooms. To prevent theft, the carriage doors are equipped with microchip locks, and CCTV cameras operate on the train.

The Red Arrow Train

This was actually the very first branded train that graced Moscow-St Petersburg route. Having gone into operation in 1931, the train was securily hidden during the Great Patriotic War. However, once the Leningrad siege was over the train journeys resumed in March 1944. Interestingly, until 1962 the carriages were painted blue. This was also the first train to incorporate a Pullman-type sleeping compartment. The train consists of 18 carriages and a restaurant, half of them are deluxe business class compartments. One of the compartments is specially designed to accommodate disabled passengers.

Diesel and Electric Trains

Some of these old-fashioned trains still run on the railroads, especially on local routes. There are usually only common carriages, i.e. no first class cabins. The on-board catering is usually no feast for eyes, and Russians tend to take their own food and drinks on the train.








Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian trains Russian transport Russian tourism Russian Railways  

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