Carriage classes of Russian trains
There are Russian Trains of different types, and each type of train has several classes of differently designed carriages. With our article, you will get an idea about the various carriages of Russian passenger trains to make the right choice when buying a ticket.
Short-distance trips are usually operated by seating carriages. They have soft seats like on the plane. There are several classes of seating carriages, which differ depending on included services and seats arrangement: in the first class carriages there are fewer seats (it contributes to a more comfortable trip); passengers are usually served with meals.
Among seating trains, there are express trains which are much faster than regular ones. All of them offer first and second class carriages. You can read about the services in each class in our articles about the high-speed trains: Sapsan train operates between Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Allegro runs between Helsinki and Saint-Petersburg, Strizh connects Moscow with Nizhniy Novgorod and Berlin, and Lastochka runs from Moscow and Saint-Petersburg to many other Russian cities.
Most long-distance trains in Russia are sleeper. They enable you to make long-distance journeys while having a relaxing night's sleep. You arrive early at your destination, saving the day's travel — or the early morning dash to the airport.
Traveling by overnight train in Russia, be sure that whichever class you select, you will get a bunk (berth) for rest or sleep. The bed linen is usually included in the ticket price. The meal can be included or not. In some trains, the service includes also newspapers and a hygienic set. Branded trains have a restaurant carriage where you can have lunch or dinner. In any carriage, there are at least two toilets. Modern carriages are equipped with bio-toilets which are not closed during the stops, and the old carriages have ordinary toilets which are open only when the train is moving. Air conditioning is an option which is included in many carriages but not all. If you travel in the summer, this is what you should pay attention to when planning your trip. Reading our detailed descriptions of each class of the ticket offered at our website, you will be able to make the right choice.
There are several types of carriages, generally divided into three classes:
First-class, also known as ‘SV’ (in Russian – ‘СВ’) or ‘Luxe,’ is the most comfortable type of carriage. Usually, a first-class carriage has nine separate cabins and two toilets. The cabin consists of two bunks and a folding table. Usually, both bunks are lower, but some trains have compartments with one lower and one upper bunk (one over another). Other amenities of the compartment include personal reading lights, storage space under the lower bunks, and a sliding door. Usually, there is also a mirror and in some trains - a wardrobe and sockets.
Some trains also have luxury carriages (which are called “soft”). They have fewer compartments (4-6), and the cabins are larger than in the ordinary first-class carriages. There is a shower in the carriage or even in the compartment. Most compartments include a private toilet or bathroom. Other amenities include TV and individual a/c. The cabins in luxury carriages are sold entirely for one or two passengers, it guarantees the most level of privacy and comfort.
Second class is known as ‘coupe’. The second class carriage consists of 9 separate quardruple compartments with four bunks (2 lower and 2 upper), a fold-down table and a sliding door. Among other amenities are personal reading lights, storage space (built-in shelves over the door, boxes under the lower bunks, racks on the wall beside each bunk).
For safer and more comfortable trips some trains offer ‘female only’ and ‘male only’ compartments. So, having purchased a ticket at a ‘female’ compartment you can be sure that only women will be your neighbors.
Third class is known as ‘platskart’. It is the cheapest option on long-distance trains. The open-class carriage consists of 54 bunks, arranged in bays of 4 on one side and bays of 2 on another, with an aisle between the two sides. The side bunks are over and under the window. When the passenger is not sleeping, lower side bunk transforms to a table and two seats. There is no privacy in such type of carriage and it is rather noisy there, so travelling in the third class is a choice of those who value economy more than comfort.