Moscow to St. Petersburg Trains


645 km

Up to 40 trains
per day

2-6 stops
on the way

Fastest train
3 h 30 min

Slowest train
10 h 22 min

Price from
21 USD

Many trains run on the Moscow to St Petersburg route, from standard trains to the most famous and modern trains on the Russian railways – everything from direct high-speed lines to slow sleepers. Options include a variety of direct lines with no stops and trains from longer routes passing through Moscow on the way to St Petersburg, which may make 5 or 6 stops on the way at points like Tver and Bologoye.

Whatever your preferences, budget or timetable, there is always a Moscow to St Petersburg train to suit you. The same abundance of options is likewise available on the St. Petersburg to Moscow route, with electronic tickets available both ways for added convenience.

Moscow to St. Petersburg Train Tickets

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Frequently Asked Questions From Our Travelers

How long is the train ride from Moscow to St Petersburg?

That depends upon the train. The high-speed Sapsan makes the journey in only about 3.5 to 4 hours during the day. For a more leisurely, comfortable ride on a sleeper like the Grand Express or Red Arrow, the overnight journey will run from 8 to 10 hours.

Where does Sapsan arrive/depart?

The Sapsan to St Petersburg departs from (and returns to) Moscow’s Leningradsky Train Station, at Komsomolskaya Ploshad 3, Metro Komsomolskaya. The train on the Nizhny Novgorod to St Petersburg route comes through Moscow’s Kursky Train Station, Zemlyanoi Val, 29, Metro Kurskaya. On the St Petersburg end of both routes, the Sapsan uses the Moscovsky Train Station, Nevsky Prospect 85, Metro Ploshad Vosstania.

What are the carry-on limits on the train?

For 1st class passengers, the limit is 50 kg of carry-on luggage, while 2nd and 3rd class passengers have a limit of 36 kg. Regardless of weight, the luggage’s height, length, and width must total less than 180 cm. Note that children under 4 travelling without a separate seat (i.e., a free ticket), do not get an extra luggage allowance.

Do the Moscow to St Petersburg trains offer Wi-fi?

With rare exceptions, such as top tier passages on the Grand Express, Wi-Fi is available only on the Sapsan.

Is the train better than flying from Moscow to St Petersburg?

While the price is very similar and you spend about the same amount of time onboard the plane as you would the Sapsan high-speed train, the train stations are near city center, whereas airports are outside the city – meaning you must arrange transport to and from the airport, likely with extra costs and the possibility of traffic headaches. Not to mention the delays of airport check-in and security. And while planes have stringent limits on carry-on bags, passengers on the Sapsan can bring up to 36 kg of carry-on luggage without an extra fee (50kg for 1st class). Add in the more comfortable seats and meal options on the Sapsan, and the riding the train is clearly the better option.

History of the Moscow – St. Petersburg Railway

The Beginning of the Train Journey

The Three Station Square (officially Komsomolskaya Square) is where the Moscow to St. Petersburg train journey begins. Leningradsky, Yaroslavsky, and Kazansky Stations surround the plaza, which is surrounded by massive clocks. There's no place on earth that's more associated with the idea of railway adventure than this location. A golden statue of the minister who built Russia's first railways stands in the middle of the square, and train stations are traditionally named after Russia's largest city along their route.

Leningradsky Station would have been an appropriate choice for those familiar with Soviet history. Saint Petersburg was renamed Leningrad in the early days of the USSR (Lenin's city). Even though the city's imperial name was reinstated by popular demand, the station's name was never changed. Similarly, despite being called initially "Nikolaevskaya".

The style of the stations on Komsomolskaya square differs vastly, even while having been built in the mid-19th century. St. Petersburg's Leningradsky railway station isn't difficult to find, as it is the main and most magnificent of them all. Those coming to St. Petersburg shouldn't be concerned about mismatching Leningradsky station with the others; it is by far the biggest and most magnificent of them all. 140 million people per year ride the Oktyabrskaya railway line yearly with a record speed of 3.5 hours from beginning to end. Impressive, especially when compared to the original journey time of 22 hours!

Royal Beginnings

The Oktyabrskaya line is now only used by passengers. It was designed to replace cargo ships that traveled between Russia's two major cities in Nikolai I's reign. In the reign of Nikolai I, a forward-thinking German businessman named Franz Gerstner began annoying the Tsar with his grand proposal to construct Russia's first rail lines from Saint Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod via Moscow. By then, Britain already had functioning railways, so the Emperor established a commission to evaluate Franz’s plan after some persuasion.

The board of commissioners rejected the plan, branding it "too ambitious and self-centered." For unlimited riches promised, the German professor demanded a monopoly on railway construction in Russia for two decades. After months of study, the project was denied permission to advance. Given this, Franz had to accept 27 kilometers from St. Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo instead of the 1000 kilometers he wanted. The shorted line opened in 1837.

The Railways commission shot down yet another proposal from Melnikov, a brilliant Russian rail engineer sent to the United States by the Emperor after two years. The prospect of speeds up to 37 kilometers per hour could not soothe their trepidation at the prospect of paying out 43 million rubles. Instead, they backed horse-drawn carriage tracks, which were less expensive and more familiar (unlike railways, which were regarded with suspicion in those days). However, this time, Emperor Nikolai simply overrode the government officials and issued a decree to construct the St. Petersburg - Moscow rail line. In 1842, a 644-kilometer track was built connecting Russia's major cities in less than ten years.

Smooth running?

The Tsar, his family, and all of their retainers traveled by rail from Saint Petersburg to Moscow in 1851 after a battalion of soldiers had been safely dispatched along the new railway line.

Nikolai I was not disappointed. The construction of the railway line had taken much longer than expected. After ten years, not all of the work had been completed. Temporary "gardens" were planted around stations on the track, and well-dressed employees were ordered to walk along with them to divert the Tsar from the flaws. However, thousands of other passengers who made their first train journey along these tracks were not particularly pleased.

The first steam engines had no heating, toilets, or enterprising babushkas selling pies. There were three classes, although the only distinctive feature of the first-class blue cars was a little plumper seating. The trip took 22 hours at best. At its worst, the trains could be out for 12 hours at a time. Passengers would often trek to the nearest village to escape frostbite while they were being restored, but compared to those who worked on the tracks for ten years previously; they had it easy.

Only one steam-excavation machine was used on a tiny proportion of the Moscow to Saint Petersburg railway tracks. Humans entirely handcrafted the remaining 600+ kilometers.

A Triumphant Conclusion

Every year, the trains got more dependable, and Oktyabrskaya Railway's popularity rose. Before the century's end, "courier trains" were making the journey in 13 hours. By 1913, passenger trains were able to complete the trip in 8 hours. The Varshavsky Railway Station Museum in St Petersburg has a replica of the original series C steam locomotive that allowed for this record by traveling at 100 km/h.

Although the Oktyabrskaya railway's history is preserved in museums, you may still travel overnight from Moscow to St. Petersburg on the famous "Red Arrow," which made its inaugural run in 1931. Despite the name, the train's carriages have initially been all blue because they were built by 1st class, Tsarist coaches. Surprisingly, first-class wasn't luxurious enough for Soviet authorities, so the wagons were refitted with a new level: SV.
The blockade of Leningrad during World War II halted railway construction on the Moscow-St

Petersburg route, but it did not cause significant damage. Today, trains from Moscow enter Moskovsky Railway Station in St Petersburg, which was built to accommodate Tsar Nikolai I's train in 1851.

Get ready to be whisked along on a smooth and magical ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Purchase your ticket safely and securely, then relax and let your train adventure begin!

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