Photo by RZD
Train Ticket Types in Russia
The following ticket types exist in Russia:
- E-ticket with electronic registration
This is a ticket with electronic registration. The electronic ticket that we email to you does not have to be exchanged prior to your trip. To board the train, you just have to show this electronic ticket and your passport.
- E-ticket without electronic registration (semi e-ticket)
This is a ticket which will be sent to you by email, but which you will have to exchange for a boarding pass prior to the trip at the train station. You can exchange your semi e-ticket in a ticket booth (it should have an E-ticket sign) or at an electronic terminal at the train station. To get your boarding pass at the station and to board a train you will have to show your passport.
- Paper ticket
Although electronic tickets are available on most destinations, there are certain routes where only paper tickets can be issued. Paper ticket can either be delivered to your address (at an extra charge) or you can pick it up in one of our offices. To board the train you will have to show the ticket and also your passport. It is important to remember that paper ticket can only be used in original, no copies are accepted. Lost or damaged tickets cannot be reissued, so be careful once you receive your paper ticket and keep it in a safe place
Buying Russian Train Tickets
Buying tickets for Russian trains is not such an easy task - even for locals. Russian rail tickets can be purchased from ticket offices directly at the train station or through a travel agency. Here are the answers to the most popular questions regarding ticket booking process.
Is it possible to book train tickets in advance?
In Russia, it is impossible to reserve train tickets - passengers must always purchase their Russian train tickets
first in order to secure their travel dates. The tickets go on sale 45 days before the actual train departure.
Is it possible to buy a ticket with an open date?
There are also no open tickets for Russian trains - you will have to buy a ticket for a particular train on a certain date.
Are train tickets for foreigners same price as those for locals?
There is no double pricing system for foreigners applied to rail tickets as there frequently is with theater tickets, so tickets are the same price whether you are Russian or not.
When is the best time to buy the tickets?
In summer is the peak season for traveling and it's better to organize your journey in advance. This also applies to late spring and early autumn. If you plan on traveling during these periods, it is important to book your tickets in advance, at least a few weeks but even better - over 1 month ahead of your desired departure date. Moreover, if you want to get the cheapest ticket possible then book even earlier, because prices tend to increase, when there is more demand for tickets. In June, for example, it is hard to get tickets in Moscow a week before you desired departure date. Your only option might be the most expensive ticket in the most extravagant VIP train, instead of having options for something more convenient that fit your personal needs and budget.
Which documents are required to buy a train ticket?
In order to purchase tickets, you have to present your passport - no other documents are acceptable (except for a Russian military pass or Russian civil servant card). It is usually possible to purchase a ticket by only showing a passport copy or even just giving your passport number to the ticket agent, however you must be aware that documents are checked when boarding the train and there will be trouble if your documents do not match what is written on the ticket.
Which is better – buying train ticket at the station or from an agency?
Getting your Russian train ticket
is quite easy but there are a few things you should know. First, you have to remember to purchase the tickets in advance, especially to the popular destinations such as Southern Russia, Central Russia and the Trans-Siberian route. You can buy tickets at the railway stations and in special ticket offices as well as from travel agencies and some Internet ticket offices. If you choose a travel agency they will save you some time and make the process of getting the tickets very smooth for you, but at the same time they will charge an extra service fee for every purchased ticket. Usually the fee is not high, but the service is very good - it really beats standing in line at the ticket office for up to 3 hours. In Russia, as was stated before, it is possible to purchase a ticket up to 45 days in advance of your trip but not more than 45 days. On the most traveled destination routes like Moscow to St. Petersburg there are lots of trains, which travel back and forth, so it is always possible to get a ticket even on the same day as your desired departure date, but these tickets will probably be the most expensive options. Getting your ticket might also take some time unless you are willing to pay an extra fee by ordering tickets though a travel company. If not, you have to wait in line for at least a half an hour and have your money prepared, because it is impossible to reserve a spot - you must always actually buy the ticket and refunds are possible but you will lose a substantial part of the fare when you return your ticket. Buy your St. Petersburg Moscow train
How to Read Your Train Ticket
How to read Russian electronic train ticket:
1 - Passenger information (Surname, first letter of Name, first letter of Second name)
2 - Date and time of departure
3 - Departure station
4 - Arrival station
5 - Date and time of arrival
6 - Ticket class
7 - Train number
8 - Carriage number
9 - Berth/seat number
How to read the Russian paper train ticket (local trains):
1 - Train number
2 - Date of departure
3 - Time of departure
4 - Carriage number
5 - Carriage type
6 - City of departure
7 - City of arrival
8 - Train type
9 - Berth number
10 - Passenger passport number
11 - Passenger name in Russian
12 - Arrival date and time
How to read the Russian paper train ticket (international trains):
1 - Number of passengers
2 - Ticket type (full/child)
3 - Passenger passport number
4 - Passenger name
5 - Passenger date of birth
6 - Date of departure
7 - Time of departure
8 - City of departure
9 - City of arrival
10 - Date of arrival
11 - Time of arrival
12 - Carriage type
13 - Train number
14 - Carriage number
15 - Seat/berth number