Russia - General Information
This page is a skeleton containing only basic information about the Russian railway system. Detailed information is available only for the Kaliningrad Oblast. If you can help with information on Russia, please contact us.
National railway system
RZD: Rossiyskiye Zheleznye Dorogi (РЖД: Российские железные дороги).
Russian [Cyrillic characters]. As for other countries using Cyrillic, there are numerous transliteration systems. The BGN/PCGN system (British Standard) is used in this site.
1 Rouble = 100 Kopeks.
numeric: 20; alpha: RUS
- Domestic services: eng.rzd.ru/schedulee/public/rzdeng?STRUCTURE_ID=46
- International services: A list of international trains is given at eng.rzd.ru/statice/public/rzdeng?STRUCTURE_ID=4068.
- CIS journey planner give timetables for long distance trains in whole former USSR.
- Сервис поиска оптимальных маршрутов по СНГ на электричках, in Russian only, give timetables for local services (Elektrychkas). The easiest way to use it is to chose the area concerned in the list of oblasts (green box at the bottom of the page), then to chose the relevant station either on the map (by clicking on the red spot representing the station and click on "Расписание") or in the list of stations below the map.
No official downloadable timetable is available. However, an excellent privately published timetable, covering the whole of Russia, is available from Herr Hans-Jürgen Schulz who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No public timetable is published; as far as is known details are merely posted at stations.
Sections of Dmitry Zinoviev's "Supermap" of the railways of the former USSR, for example parovoz.com/maps/supermap/supermap.php?X=E&Y=2&LANG=en (see hyperlinked English legend for key to colour-coding and types of line used).
A very small scale map of main passenger routes is available on the RZD website.
A complete bunch of maps, covering entire Russian railways, made by Pavel Kashin is available at: http://foto.mail.ru/mail/ngrw_paul/-?page=1 and following pages (up to 7 at present).
"Атлас схем железных дорог" (Atlas skhem zhelzenykh dorog)from 2005 published by Omskaya kartografitcheskaya fabrika (ISBN 595230113-4).
Broad (1520 mm).
3 kV DC and 25 kV 50 Hz. At transition points such as Vyaz'ma, Vladimir, Danilov or Balezino, the power supply to the catenary is switchable to enable locomotives of through trains to be changed.
Rule of the road
Many cities have a “Pioneer” public narrow-gauge railway that combines a hobby activity for teenagers with practical training in railway operation.
Chelyabinsk, Kazan', Krasnoyarsk, Lebedyan, Moskva, Nizhni Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Samara, Sankt-Peterburg, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg
Achinsk, Angarsk, Arkhangel'sk, Barnaul, Biysk, Chelyabinsk, Cherepovets, Cheryomushki, Dzerzhinsk, Irkutsk, Izhevsk, Kaliningrad, Kazan', Kemerovo, Khabarovsk, Kolomna, Komsomol'sk-na-Amure, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Krasnotur'insk, Kursk, Lipetsk, Magnitogorsk, Moskva, Murmansk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Nizhniy Tagil, Nizhni Novgorod (Gorki), Novokuznetsk, Novotroitsk, Novocherkassk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orël, Orsk, Osinniki, Perm', Prokop'yevsk, Pyatigorsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Samara (Kuybyshev), Sankt-Peterburg, Salavat, Saratov, Shakhty, Smolensk, Sochi, Stary Oskol, Taganrog, Tomsk, Tula, Tver', Ufa, Ulan Ude, Ul'yanovsk, Usol'ye Sibirskoye, Ust'-llimsk, Ust'-Katav, Vladikavkaz, Vladivostok, Volzhskiy, Volchansk, Volgograd, Yaroslavl', Yekaterinburg, Zlatoust
Recent and future changes
The introduction of high-speed 200 km/h trains between Helsinki and St Peterburg in December 2010 has reduced the capacity for freight trains. A new electrified line has therefore been constructed between Petäjäjärvi and Kamennogorsk, and much of the freight traffic diverted via the Rutshji - Petäjäjärvi - Kamennogorsk - Vyborg line.
Passenger services on the RZD railway network are either local or long distance; in principle, three classes of accommodation are available on long distance trains:
“platskarts”: equivalent to 3rd class; open carriages
“kupe”: equivalent to 2nd class; compartments for 4 people
“spalny vagon”: equivalent to 1st class; compartments for 2 people
Local services stopping at most or all stations and halts en route do not require reservations, so they have separate ticket office windows.
Long-distance services consist of several coaches divided into compartments, which can be converted into sleeping accommodation for use overnight, and hauled by locomotives. Advance reservation is required for all travel by these trains; intending travellers must present an identity card/passport when making reservations (this is a precaution against 'ticket touts').
Passenger train numbering
Throughout the broad-gauge network of the former Soviet Union, long-distance passenger trains are numbered in the range below 1000, in many cases followed by a letter. The most important trains are numbered below 100. In principle, each train whose destination is to the south and/or west of its origin bears an odd number; the corresponding return working bears the following even number. Note that some run only on alternate days (always odd or even dates at a particular station en route). The schedule for each can be consulted on-line by entering the train number. Local passenger trains are generally numbered in the 6xxx range.