Many trains on the Kazan to Moscow route originate in Siberia or Russia’s Far East and cover the 793 km route in just over 13 hours, making stops along the way in Zelyony, Umary, Kanash, Shumerlya, Pilna, Sergach, Navashino, and Murom. The Premium makes only 2 stops and completes the journey in just over 11 hours.
From 2-4 trains operate on this route each day, with the number varying by season and day of the week, and all operate on the return route from Moscow to Kazan.
Most trains in Russia do not accept credit cards and accept cash only in RUB, so be prepared with enough for your trip.
Trains on the Kazan to Moscow route do have a dining car, with meals generally costing $5-$20. Meal options vary by train and change periodically, so you could have to consult the menu on your train. And though they usually offer a wide variety of dishes, there would likely be few vegetarian options.
You will need your passport to board. Online tickets do not need to be printed, but pay attention when buying tickets online, as your ticket and passport information must match. Be sure to use your actual passport number when booking.
A private cabin would require buying both tickets for a 1st class cabin, or all 4 tickets of a 2nd class cabin.
The Kazan - Moscow railway is a testament to the Russian spirit of perseverance and cooperation. This line has survived both a major bankruptcy and a Civil War to still serve passengers today.
The railway was founded in 1860 as a leg between Moscow and Saratov. The latter is a major seaport on the Volga River. Suspiciously, the company underwriting the railway declared bankruptcy despite having Tsar Alexander III and his brothers listed as backers. The line reached the cities of Kolomna and later Ryazan by 1862. The company reorganized into the Moscow - Kazan railway some 30 years later and finally it reached Kazan in 1894. The rail line helped transport vital goods like bread from the southern region and timber from the east to the capital city of Moscow. This was until all hell broke loose.
During the Russian Civil War, 50 percent of all trains were inoperable, which in turn produced chaotic conditions for train passengers and cargo alike. On a weekend evening of April 12, 1919, fifteen workers took matters into their own hands and repaired three locomotives on their own time. This occurred on a Saturday evening and started the tradition of the communist subbotnick, the Russian term for Saturday or sabbath when Soviet citizens would give up their free time on Saturdays to volunteer for state and community projects. A month later, these same tradesmen inspired hundreds of their fellow workers to collectively fix the railyard. Vladimir Lenin was inspired by their selflessness and even penned an essay in support of the subbotnick. A nation-wide subbotnick was carried out by Russians on May Day of 1920, to fix their beloved country ravaged by war and revolution. The tradition continues up to this day.
A nation pitched in to keep this rail line and their nation moving forward. For passengers riding this railway today there are usually only two stops worthy of interest: Murom and Kazan itself.
A small town that is one of Russia's oldest settlements. As far back as the 9th century, this place was partly inhabited by the Finnic Muromians. East Slavs also laid claim to this area. Clearly, the town got its name from the arrival of the former ethnic group. Archaeologists find little remains from that period. However, many medieval buildings still remain. Damian, a building constructed in 1565, is the oldest of such structures. Visitors can also tour the Temple of Kosmas, Holy Trinity Convent, the Annunciation Monastery and the Transfiguration Monastery, just to name a few attractions.
The city’s great history dates back to the year 1005. Kazan functions as the capital of the Tatarstan republic. A must-see point of interest is the Kazan Kremlin, a site recognized by UNESCO. Its existence best displays the marriage of the Tatar and Russian cultural traditions and faiths. Holding both the Kul-Sharif mosque and the Annunciation cathedral. Don't forget to take a stroll down famed Bauman Street. Rounding out the attractions include the Museum of 1000 Years of Kazan, the colorful Temple of All Religions and the Old Tatar Settlement just to mention a few.
Get ready to be whisked along on a smooth and magical ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway.