In a country as busy and large as Russia, the commute can be a huge problem if not properly maintained. But fortunately for whoever resides in Russia, there is a very sophisticated train system all over the country that is a huge blessing if you come to think about it.
The Russian train system has been built up to become one of the world's largest, most efficient and most well-connected train systems. It comprises of multiple different kinds of trains, catering to your every mood and need. The carriages and seats are designed differently for every travel need that makes you feel comfortable and safe in an otherwise rowdy mode of transportation.
The Russian trains are a class apart from other train systems that we have become awry of, so much so that they have been declared to be a better mode of traveling within Russia than domestic airlines! So, let's look at the different kinds of trains available for a Russian traveler to choose from.
Travelling on rails can be a nuisance especially when the trains are ill-kept and aren't comfortable enough. That is not a problem, though, that our Russian residents face. With the option of seating carriages, they can make their short trips sitting on soft, cozy seats that make the journey preferable to traveling in a car.
There are several different options yet when selecting the seating carriages where the services provided to the passenger vary. If you want a relatively more exclusive seating where you are served lunch and dinner and are catered to more personally, you can choose the first class seating carriages.
Then comes the option of the express trains. If you want to get somewhere in the least possible time, express train is the clear option for you. It is much faster than any of the other options available, and it also offers multiple classes of carriages depending on the amount of luxury you prefer to enjoy on your trip.
The services in each type of carriage and then subsequently every class can be read about in our other articles which focus on express trains. Do look them up according to your destination and you will find all the information you need.
On another front, if you wish to travel for longer distances of a day or so, and need to sleep on the way, the sleeper carriage will be your optimal choice. Russian sleeper trains are a thing of beauty. Anywhere else in the world, it becomes an unwelcome hassle when thinking of traveling for days on end and everyone prefers air travel, despite the additional cost because it's worth the difference in comfort that the passenger gets.
In Russia, however, the trains themselves are so comfortable that even when traveling for long periods of time, people prefer to travel by land and not by air. They are one of the most relaxing modes of transport, and they owe that characteristic relaxation to the easy sleep that they allow the passengers to get.
No matter what class you select in the sleeper carriage, rest assured that there will be a comfortable berth waiting for you with soft linen and a comforter. These trains are meant to make your journey worth twice what you paid for them. Meals might or might not be included in the ticket fare, that is a per case scenario.
Among other amenities are newspapers, hygiene sets, etc. if you feel like having a good meal to make your journey more enjoyable, all you need to do is to walk over to the branded restaurant which is present on the train and enjoy a fine cuisine. Toilets are available on all of the sleeper trains, bio or otherwise. For further information, you can check out the details on our website about all trains in Russia and choose the right one for you depending on the season, your traveling distance and other preferences.
This is, as the name suggests, a preferable type of travel choice if you prefer comfort and luxury over everything else. With nine cabins and two toilets, this carriage has the exclusivity that not many others have. Each cabin has a folding, meal table for you and two bunks. The arrangements of these bunks could be above and below one another on one side of the cabin or side by side, one at each side. Added luxuries are available in the form of personal reading light, storage space, sliding door, mirrors, wardrobe, and sockets – about the train that you pick. The basic luxuries, however, are available to all first-class passengers on all trains.
Above these first-class carriages are the luxury carriages or the «soft carriages.» They are even more exclusive with 4-6 compartments in each carriage, and the compartments are much larger than the regular, first-class carriages.
These carriages take luxury to a new level. If you have to get to an important business appointment and haven't yet gotten time to shower or charge your laptop or want just to relax and get your mind off of things, this carriage provides you with everything that you might need: shower, TV, A/C, charger sockets. And these compartments are as private as they come with room for only two people to have the most comfortable trip together possible.
For most of us, though, all these luxuries are not as important, and we just want to remain fairly comfortable while we get from point A to point B. For this purpose, is the second-class carriage, more commonly known as the «coupe.» This is a carriage that has nine compartments which accommodate four people at once, has a folding table and a sliding door. Still, pretty comfortable if you think about it. Additional to that, it has reading lights, built-in shelves, storage space and comfortable leather berths that allow for a dreamless night of sleep.
Apart from these class distinguishing factors, there are gender-distinguished compartments for added security, comfort and privacy. If you are uncomfortable traveling with men around you, buy a ticket for the «female only» compartment and have a good time. If you want to travel with your buddies and make it a guys' trip, then buy the «male only» tickets and get that party started.
If you are a people’s person and want to just travel without thinking much about how well you sleep or how many people you need to interact with, you can bunk in the third-class carriage or the “platskart" which is the perfect, economical option for you to plug in your headphones and whip out your favorite book to get comfortable under the covers and enjoy your road trip. This carriage has 54 open bunks arranged on both sides of an aisle. These bunks can be stretched out into a table or folded back into bunks depending on the time of the day. Passengers in the third class do lack privacy but sometimes chat with a stranger is all that one needs to make a trip special.