Upon arriving at the station you will generally find that there is an electronic departures board showing the train number, its destination, and the departure time and platform. Bear in mind that your destination will be written in the Cyrillic alphabet, so it is worth learning the name of your destination in Russian to avoid any confusion or stress. Russia uses a numeral system that most will be familiar with, so reading the train number, platform and time should not be an issue.
Once you know which platform you will be departing from, head through the departure hall, following signage where available, to the main platform area. Each platform will be clearly numbered, with some also possessing electronic boards that show information about the train that is currently present.
If you find that you are early and the train has yet to arrive, you will be able to use one of the waiting areas within the station. If you choose to do this, remain alert as all announcements will be in Russian so you may miss the announcement for your train. Alongside learning your destination’s name in written Russian, it may also be worth learning it in spoken Russian too.
When the time comes to board the train, you will find your carriage by checking the numbers on the doors leading into the train. At the entrance to the carriage will be one of the conductors who will check that all of your documents (passport/ID card and tickets/voucher) are in order before allowing you entry.
There will be porters around the station who will be willing to help with any baggage you are unable to carry. They will often charge around 200 roubles for each item, though they have been known to ask for more if they feel that you can afford it.