Belarus - General Information
Belarus (officially The Republic of Belarus) (Беларусь)
National railway system
- Belarusian: BČ - Belaruskaja Čyhunka (or BCh Belaruskaya Chyhunka) / БЧ - Беларуская Чыгунка
- Russian: BŽD - Belorusskaja Železnaja Doroga (or BZD Belorusskaya Zheleznaya Doroga) / БЖД - Белорусская Железная Дорога
Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Belarusian and Russian. However, all station names are exclusively in Belarusian, apart from a few large stations which are bilingual Belarusian and Russian. Some are displayed also with the official transliteration in Latin script. This transliteration is based on Łacinka, Belarusian rendered in the Latin alphabet, with little modifications. This is also the transliteration used by the official BČ website in English. For consistency, this system is used in the EGTRE pages relevant to Belarus.
Belarusian ruble (BYR).
numeric 21; alpha BLR.
A free printed timetable was available in 2017 and may still be. The book shows all trains in Belarus (including international ones operated by LG/RZD/CFM/UZ etc) and is split up into five sections - 1. City Lines (suburban trains around Minsk) / 2. Regional Lines Economy (regional slow stopping trains) / 3. Regional Lines Business (regional fast express services) / 4. Inter Regional Lines (fast long distance intercity trains) / 5. International Lines (all International trains except the slow regional DMU/EMU ones). Some maps are included.
- European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball.
- European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - The Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine) by M.G. Ball.
- Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova Railway Atlas by Quail Map Company.
- The basic routes are overlaid on a simple map given at the bottom of the Train timetable linked page.
- clickable railway map leading to information on the line selected.
- Boris Chomenko's Belarus railway map dated December 2019.
- Maps and Plans - Belarus
There are no known network tickets, but fares are cheap.
There does not appear to be an Infrastructure Authority although BČ has a Track Facilities Department and an Electricity Supply Department.
"Russian" gauge (1520mm)
Tram systems are 1524 mm gauge.
25kV 50Hz, except for the cross-border standard gauge lines to Poland, Brest - Terespol and Hrodna (Grodno) - Kuźnica Białostocka, which are 3 kV DC.
Rule of the road
The Regional train pdf timetables (see Downloadable Timetable) give kilometre posts of each station served.
The 750 mm narrow gauge K.S. Zaslonov Children's Railway is located in Chelyuskinites Park in Minsk. More information at the Children's Railways 'Dyetsky Zhelezny Dorogy' (DZD) Web site (partly in English) Minsk Children's Railway.
The Narrow Gauge Railwa ys site gives details [in Cyrillic] of excursions on some narrow gauge peat networks.
Operated by Minsk Metropolitan - site uses Cyrillic
A metro track map is available at Popov Metro maps captioned in Cyrillic.
Minsk, Mazyr/Mozyr, Navapolack/Novopolotsk, Viciebsk/Vitebsk.
The UrabnRailNet site has basic diagrams of tramway systems along with links to the local operators.
Some tram track maps are available at Popov maps captioned in Cyrillic.
Recent and future changes
From 8 February 2021 trains are reported to start to run again connecting Kaliningrad and Moscow with Minsk. They had been suspended due to Covid 19.
The passenger service between Krychaw-1 and Surazh (Russia) was cut back to Byalynkavichi (Belarus), just south of Kamunary, from the 2020-2021 timetable change. This makes the Zhurbin (Belarus) to Rzhachi ()Russia) border crossing freight only.
On 21 June 2020 the first electric passenger train arrived at Svetlogorsk-on-Berezina station. This event indicated the completion of the first 36km stage of the electrification project on the Zhlobin – Kalinkovichi – Barbarov line. The remaining 105-kilometre section of the line between Svetlogorsk-on-Berezina and Barbarov is planned to be electrified by the end of the 2021.
The first 3.5 km phase of Minsk Metro Line 3 was inaugurated on 6 November 2020.
Electrification of the 72km line from Maladziečna/Molodechno to Kena in Lithuania was completed in Autumn 2017, with freight operations commencing from 6 September 2017 and a through electric passenger service on 10 December 2017.
The new 'Strizh' Moskva - Berlin Talgo service started operation on 17 December 2016. It uses a new Talgo gauge-changer at Brest station, which has reduced considerably the time taken to change gauge.
Electric Services between Minsk and Homieĺ commenced on 17 June 2016.
A cross-border service between Гродна/Гродно (Hrodna/Grodno) and Kuźnica Białostocka (Poland) was reinstated from 4 Sept 2016, with a Kraków <> Hrodna/Grodno portion of the Krakow <> Mockava (Lithuania) train. Local services were discontinued at the December 2015 timetable change as they were to be replaced by PKP IC services between Warszawa and Hrodna/Grodno, which never ran owing to funding issues.
One train each way between Гродна/Гродно (Hrodna/Grodno) and Vilnius at weekends only was reintroduced on 6 June 2015, reopening the Беняконі/Бенякони (Bieniakoni/Benyakoni) - Stasylos (Lithuania) border crossing, but withdrawn after 8 November.