Trains vary in several independent features:
* by distance (suburban, local, long-distance)
* by speed (passenger trains, speed trains, accelerated trains, high-speed trains)
* by proprietorship of the train/coaches (JSC Russian Railways - FPA, railways of other countries, private owners)
* by "comfort level" and ticket price (deluxe trains, standart trains, discount trains).
Let us overview the main train types.
high-speed, speed, passenger
At present only “Sapsan”, “Burevestnik” and “Nevskiy Express” can be called high-speed trains (they ply on the line between St. Petersburg - Moscow - Nizhniy Novgorod).
All of these trains include only bus-type seating places (public saloon), only Nevskiy Express has two coaches with 6-berth compartments with seats in it.
No matter what people think, accelerated trains №№102 and 104 Moscow-Adler, trains №30 Moscow-Novorossiisk, №3/4 Moscow-Kislovodsk, №19/20 Moscow-Rostov are formally just fast passenger trains. The therm “accelerated train” officially doesn’t exist. But because these trains take much less time in transit (less than 25 hours instead of 33-36 hours for Moscow-Adler) there is a point to talk about them individually.
All of these trains are deluxe-class with a coefficient of 1,5 – it means that the transit costs are 1,5 times more expensive than on a standard train with the same route. In everything else these trains are similar to standart passenger trains – the same coaches with two-berth compartments, 4-berth coupe and econom-class compartments. Most of the coaches (or even all of them) have air-conditioning, which is normal for deluxe-trains.
Speed and passenger trains
There is almost no difference between these type of trains – passenger trains are a bit slower, have less stop-time at stations and have more stops.
Trains leaving Moscow are usually Speed trains, there are less passenger trains. The exception goes only for trains departing from Yaroslavskii station in Moscow – there are more passenger trains moving North (Vorkuta, Kotlas) and East (Chita, Blagoveshensk) than there are fast trains on the same routes.
Фирменные и нефирменные поезда
Deluxe or a standard train?
Many passengers asks this question. In the USSR main difference was the air-conditioning, which could be found only in deluxe trains, and the tickets cost 20% higher (coefficient of 1.2 points).
The main difference now is that in deluxe trains the coaches should be more pretty much new (or there should have been a car repair not so long ago), this rule works in most of the times. There is no other difference – the presence of air-conditioning is nowadays written in the reference (see coach types), and some deluxe trains don’t have coaches with air-conditioning, while many standard all-season trains have air-conditioned coaches.
For all of this the Russian Railways will bill you 1,5 times more (for the transit and commissary supply), if you compare the price with discount trains, then even 2.15 times more! With this amount of money you can purchase a higher-class transit, so you should always think about purposefulness of overpaying for the deluxe variant.
In summer of 2010 and 2011 JSC FPA (long-distance carrier of Russian Railway trains) offered discounts for transit by trains going South in 4-berth coupe and 2-berth compartments:
30% off in trains with numbers starting with 400 and 500
30% off in other trains "against currents" (1-15 June ride from Southern stations, 15-31 August - to Southern stations)
With these discounts it was possible to choose a cheaper transit variant, like, buying a 4-berth compartment instead of econom-class tickets. Or a 2-berth compartment instead of 4-berth (to be more precise – to buy the whole 4-berth compartment for 2 people, because these trains mostly don’t hae 2-berth compartments).
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