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Discounts and Tariffs for Russian Train Tickets

Russian train ticket prices are based upon a complex series of rules, tariffs and discounts. This means that it may be cheaper, or more expensive, to travel at certain times in the year than at others.

In order to help you plan when you may want to travel, get the best value and to help demystify the ticket prices, we have put together a guide to some of the main rules, tariffs and discounts that are used by Russian Railways.

Russian Domestic Train Tickets

Russian International Train Tickets

  • Adult Fares – Discounts and tariffs for adults on international journeys.
  • Child Fares – Discounts and tariffs for children on international journeys.
  • Group Fares – Discounts and tariffs for groups on international journeys.

Disclaimer

Booking and Further Details

 

Russian Domestic Train Tickets

For clarity, when talking about ‘Russian domestic train tickets’ these are tickets where the start and end points of the journey are both within the Russian Federation.

It is important to note that the following tariff and discount rules are not available on trains that are part of the Dynamic Price Policy, details on which can be found here.

Coefficients

Behind the pricing on most of the carriages operated by the Federal Passenger Company (FPK), which is a very large percentage of all passenger carriages operated within Russia, is their ‘Coefficient Index’.

This varies the standard price throughout the year, meaning higher prices at those times of the year in which people are most likely to travel, and lower costs at other times.

You will see in the tables below, for instance, that it is significantly cheaper to travel in a first or second class carriage on the 14th September when the ticket price is 10% cheaper than standard, than it is on the 13th September when it is 15% higher.

Note: All price changes are based on a standard price point of 1.

First and Second Class Carriages

Period

Coefficient

Begin

End

1 January

12 January

1.10 (+10%)

13 January

19 February

0.90 (- 10%)

20 February

23 February

1.15 (+ 15%)

24 February

5 March

0.90 (- 10%)

6 March

9 March

1.15 (+ 15%)

10 March

29 April

0.90 (- 10%)

30 April

7 May

1.15 (+ 15%)

8 May

9 May

0.50 (- 50%)

10 May

11 May

1.15 (+ 15%)

12 May

29 May

0.90 (- 10%)

30 May

13 September

1.15 (+ 15%)

14 September

23 December

0.90 (- 10%)

24 December

29 December

1.15 (+ 15%)

30 December

31 December

1.20 (+ 20%)

Third Class Carriages

Period

Coefficient

Begin

End

1 January

27 April

0.91 (- 9%)

28 April

7 May

1.07 (+ 7%)

8 May

9 May

0.51 (- 49%)

10 May

11 May

1.07 (+ 7%)

12 May

29 May

1.12 (+ 12%)

30 May

10 June

1.07 (+ 7%)

11 June

15 June

1.17 (+ 17%)

16 June

28 June

1.07 (+ 7%)

29 June

12 July

1.12 (+ 12%)

13 July

2 September

1.17 (+ 17%)

3 September

30 September

1.07 (+ 7%)

1 October

31 October

0.92 (- 8%)

1 November

4 November

1.17 (+ 17%)

5 November

20 December

0.87 (-13%)

21 December

28 December

1.07 (+ 7%)

29 December

30 December

1.17 (+ 17%)

31 December

-

1.02 (+ 2%)

Firmeny Train Coefficients

"Firmeny" trains are partially privatised and generally have higher quality carriages and services than standard trains.

Therefore, in addition to the standard coefficients mentioned, Firmeny trains can have an extra coefficient that is included in the price calculation.

As they are privately operated, each Firmeny train has its own, individual, set of coefficients, based on the route, the time of year and its popularity, and as such there are too many to mention here.

The important thing to remember is that it works in much the same way as the standard coefficients, so, for example, train 2/1 between Moscow and Vladivostok – the Rossiya – will be more expensive during July and August than it will be during September.

Firmeny trains are identified within our booking system by this logo - Firmany.

'Plan Ahead' Discounts

In order to encourage people to book their Russian train tickets in plenty of time, the Federal Passenger Company have introduced a discount scheme offering discounts of up to 30% on Second Class Russian train tickets if booked between 31 days and 45 days before the date of travel, and 4.45% if booked between 11 and 30 days before travel.

The discount is only available on the upper-berth, the lower-berth has no discount applied.

A 30% discount on upper-berth Second Class Russian train tickets, when booked between 31 and 45 days before travel, and a 4.45% discount on upper-berth Second Class Russian train tickets, between 11 and 30 days before travel, is available between the following dates:

•    12/01/2015 – 29/04/2015

•    14/09/2015 – 23/12/2015

A 15% discount on upper-berth Second Class Russian train tickets, when booked between 31 and 45 days before travel, and a 5% discount on upper-berth Second Class Russian train tickets, between 11 and 30 days before travel, is available between the following dates:

•    30/04/2015 – 07/05/2015
•    10/05/2015 – 13/09/2015

Russian Railways have in place a penalty for booking  within 30 days of the train’s departure date in order to encourage early booking. This surcharge can be up to 10% of the ticket cost dependent on the amount of time before departure and whether you book an upper, or lower-berth place.

A 5% surcharge will be added to lower berth places when booked between 11 and 30 days before travel, between the following dates:

•    12/01/2015 – 29/04/2015

•    14/09/2015 – 23/12/2015

A 10% surcharge will be added to lower berth places, and a 5.6% surcharge for upper-berth places, when booked 10 days or less before the date of travel, between the following dates:

•    12/01/2015 – 29/04/2015

•    14/09/2015 – 23/12/2015

A 5% surcharge will be added to lower berth places, and a 0.8% surcharge for upper-berth places, when booked 10 days or less before the date of travel, between the following dates:

•    30/04/2015 – 07/05/2015
•    10/05/2015 – 13/09/2015

If you would like to reserve your tickets more than 45 days in advance, Real Russia are able to save your booking and purchase your tickets with the optimum tariff and all relevant discounts on the first day they are made available, ensuring that you receive the best possible price.

Group Discounts

There are a number of options for group discounts when booking for ten people or more, up to, and including, a discount for buying all the available spaces in a carriage; perfect for organised, or school, trips.

We have found that in some instances it is cheaper to book tickets individually than as a group due to the 'Plan Ahead' tariff and other discounts. If this is the case we will inform you of this, and advise you accordingly, to ensure you receive the best value possible. Included here are two discounts that can prove to be beneficial to larger groups.

Group Size

Distance

Validity Period

Discount

Notes

10+

Any

1 January

31 December

40%

All places in the carriage must be purchased.

25+

> 2,000 km

13 January

6 March

30%

Cannot be combined with other discounts.

11 March

24 April

15 September

30 October

5 November

24 December

Children's Discount

Many people would like to take their children along on the adventure that is Russian train travel, and those who are worried at the cost, need not. Due to some very generous discounts taking a family on holiday aboard, for example, a train travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway, can prove to be much better value than many international vacation spots.

For all routes within Russia, a child under the age of five may travel free with a paying adult if they do not have their own place. If they require a place of their own then a ticket at the child’s fare will need to be purchased.

For all children aged between five and ten, a separate place has to be booked at the child’s rate. Children aged ten and above must pay the full adult fare.

The child’s rate on Russian trains is 50% that of the full adult fare. This can be used in conjunction with the 'Plan Ahead' discount, meaning that at certain times of the year children can travel for as little as 25% of the full fare.

Dynamic Pricing Policy

The Dynamic Pricing Policy (DPP) is a pricing structure that is increasingly being used across some of the most popular routes on the Russian railway system; for example trains travelling between Moscow and Saint Petersburg or Volgograd. Beyond a list of trains that are included in this policy (which is too large to include here), the formula for calculating the prices is "secret" and may not be published. Russian Railways do however give guidance on how DPP works in principle, which is summarised here.

The factors that are taken into consideration include:

  • The number of days until departure.
  • The number of seats available on the train.
  • Demand for the train; this is dependent on the time of year, day of the week, and the time of departure and arrival.
  • The degree of competition in the market; this is particularly relevant to trains travelling between Moscow and Saint Petersburg because a number of different private operators run "Firmeny" trains on this route.

As a rule, the earlier you book a train that is running as part of the DPP, the cheaper your tickets will be.

The examples we have been given in regards to demand, are that the ticket prices will be cheaper at a time when few people are travelling, such as 4am, than at a time when many people will want to travel, such as between 5pm and 7pm on a Friday evening.

The same principle applies for periods of the year, so during public and school holidays you will find rail travel more expensive than at other times of the year. Prices can also change where demand has not reached forecast levels (they will drop), or when they have exceeded these levels (they will increase).

Discounts in Practice

As the tariff information that you have seen shows, the time of the year, and date that you make your booking, can affect how much you can expect to pay for your tickets.

In simple terms, booking your tickets outside the traditionally popular times of the year (such as the summer and around the end of December) will see you save money. In addition to this, booking your train tickets in plenty of time (more than 31 days in advance) will also help to reduce ticket prices.

As Real Russia are able to take your bookings at any point before the date of travel, we advise that you book as early as possible. If you book more than 45 days in advance of the date of travel we will always book your tickets at their cheapest price on the day they go on sale.

Famous Trains

There are a number of very well-known trains running on the Russian rail network. Many of these run using the existing pricing and discount structures mentioned previously. There are a few exceptions, however, for those trains that offer something a little bit extra; something unique. We have included two examples here that run between Moscow and Saint Petersburg and offer completely different, though equally fantastic, experiences; the Grand Express and the Sapsan.

Grand Express

For those looking to travel in the most luxurious way possible, the Grand Express is THE way to travel between Moscow and St Petersburg. Heated floors, en-suite bathrooms, double sized cabins and luxury transfers to your final destination are just some of the perks you could receive for indulging yourself with a ticket on this train.

As such, the pricing structure is a little different to standard trains; it is generally higher. There are discounts available for group travel on some classes, though, in which case you may find that treating yourself to eight hours of luxury is not much more expensive than a standard train.

Business Class (1Б)

Second Class - Services (2Э)

First Class (1У)

Second Class - No Services (2К)

> 10 Places

10% Discount

> 20 Places

7% Discount

> 18 Places

15% Discount

> 36 Places

10% Discount

> 30 Places

20% Discount

-

-

Please note: These discounts are not available online. If you have a group that wishes to travel on this luxury train please contact one of our travel experts who will be happy to help you.

Sapsan

If you want to travel between Moscow and Saint Petersburg in the shortest time possible, taking a ride on one of the Sapsan trains is for you. It can make the 650km journey in under four hours, making up to six journeys in each direction every day. These are among the most modern trains running, not just in Russia, but across Europe and, as such, have all the conveniences you would expect such as Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

Pricing is based on a dynamic policy, much like the DPP, though with somewhat more predictability.

Note: All price changes are based on a standard price point of 1.

Days Before Travel

% Capacity

Coefficient

44 - 39

0 - 5

0.8

6 - 15

0.9

16 - 35 1.0

36 - 80

1.1

≥ 81 1.2

38 - 29

0 - 5

0.9

6 - 25

1.0

26 - 60

1.1

≥ 61 1.2

28 - 19

0 - 5

1.0

6 - 35

1.1

≥ 36

1.2

18 - 9

0 - 5

1.0

6 - 25

1.1

≥ 26

1.2

8 - 1

0 - 15

1.1

≥ 16

1.2

Day of travel

0 - 5

1.1

≥ 6

1.2

 

1st Class

2nd Class

Travel Time

Coefficient

Coefficient

03:30 - 03:40

1.185

1.2919

03:41 - 03:50

1.1172

1.1842

03:51 - 04:00

1.0496

1.0766

04:01 - 04:10

0.985

0.9689

> 04:11

0.9143

0.8612

What these tables show, is that the closer to the date of travel you book, and the quicker the travel time, the more expensive the ticket will be. As Real Russia are able to take your bookings at any point before the date of travel, it is advised that you book as early as possible. If you book more than 45 days in advance of the date of travel we will always endeavour to book your tickets at the cheapest coefficient price before the train starts to fill up and the tickets increase in price. This is particularly true of Sapsan trains running from Friday evening through to Monday morning as there is generally a high volume of travellers; both commuters and those planning on taking a weekend break or day trip.

For those who wish to stay in one city and pay a visit to the other before returning, there is the added incentive of a 10% discount for all return tickets booked.

Russian International Train Tickets

Via Saint Petersburg and Moscow, Russia is linked with countries across Europe and Asia. In fact, via Russia, you could take a journey from London all the way to Singapore via Moscow and the Trans-Siberian Railway. Many of these routes have a wide array of discounts and enticements to encourage those who prefer a more scenic form of travel than airlines can provide.

When talking about Russian train tickets, international tickets are those where the journey starts in Russia and ends in another country.

Adult Fares

The following discounts are valid on trains between Moscow and Nice, Paris, Prague, Berlin, Vienna and Cheb as well as between Saint Petersburg and Prague.

Name Details Discount
'Junior' and 'Senior' Passengers aged from 12 - 26 and from 60 onwards 30%
Family Purchase entire 'Lux' compartment for two passengers
(one child under 12 is allowed for free)
30%
Celebration Travelling within seven days of your birthday 35%
Wedding No later than 30 days after your wedding in Soft and Lux Classes 35%
Top Spot* Available when travelling on the top bunk on all classes,
and the middle bunk where available
5%
Plan Ahead* When purchasing a ticket between 60 and 45 days before departure 10%

* Can be combined with other discounts. These discounts are not available for trains with a date of departure within any ‘high season’ period. ‘High season’ can vary between routes, please contact us for further information.


 

The following discounts are valid on trains travelling between the Russian Federation and North Korea, Mongolia and China.

 

Name Details Discount
Back and Forth* A return journey 20%
One Way For passengers who accompany a blind passenger 100%

* Unavailable when travelling to China


The following discounts are valid on trains 1/2 and 3/4 between Moscow and Riga.

 

Name Details Discount
Plan Ahead
(June 1st - August 31st)
45 - 31 days before the date of departure 10%
30 - 21 days before the date of departure 5%
10 days before the date of departure 10% Surcharge

 

Name Details Discount
Plan Ahead
(September 1 to October 30
and November 5 to December 24)
45 - 31 days before the date of departure 15%
30 - 21 days before the date of departure 10%
10 days before the date of departure 10% Surcharge

The following discounts are valid on trains 37/38 between Moscow and Riga.

 

Name Details Discount
Plan Ahead
(June 1st - August 31st)
45 - 31 days before the date of departure 30%
30 - 21 days before the date of departure 10%
10 days before the date of departure 10% Surcharge

 

Name Details Discount
Plan Ahead
(September 1 to October 30
and November 5 to December 24)
45 - 31 days before the date of departure 15%
30 - 21 days before the date of departure 10%
10 days before the date of departure 10% Surcharge

The following discounts are valid on First Class tickets aboard trains between the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

 

Name Details Discount
Plan Ahead
(1st August - 24th December)*
45 - 31 days before the date of departure 30%
30 - 16 days before the date of departure 15%
5 days before the date of departure 5% Surcharge

* Excluding 31st October – 5th November


The following discounts are valid on Second Class tickets aboard trains between the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

 

Name Details Discount
Plan Ahead
(1st August - 24th December)*
45 - 31 days before the date of departure 20%
30 - 16 days before the date of departure 10%
5 days before the date of departure 5% Surcharge

* Excluding 31st October – 5th November


The following discounts are valid on trains 809/810 and 811/812 between Saint Petersburg and Tallinn.

 

Name Details Discount
Plan Ahead
(1st August - 24th December)*
45 - 31 days before the date of departure 20%
30 - 16 days before the date of departure 15%
5 days before the date of departure 3% Surcharge

* Excluding 31st October – 5th November

Child fares

Discounts on children’s train tickets vary hugely from country to country. Here is a summary of those discounts:

Country

Age

Discount

Age

Discount

Austria

<4

100%

<15

50%

Bulgaria

<4

100%

<12

50%

China

<4

100%

<12

50%

Croatia

<4

100%

<12

50%

Czech Republic

<4

100%

<15

50%

Estonia

<5

100%

<10

Up to 65%

Finland

<6

100%

<17

30%

France

<4

100%

<12

50%

Germany

<4

100%

<15

50%

Hungary

<4

100%

<14

50%

Italy

<4

100%

<12

50%

Latvia

<5

100%

<10

Up to 65%

Lithuania

<5

100%

<10

Up to 65%

Mongolia

<4

100%

<12

50%

Montenegro

<4

100%

<14

50%

Netherlands

<4

100%

<12

50%

North Korea

<4

100%

<12

50%

Serbia

<4

100%

<14

50%

Slovakia

<4

100%

<15

50%

Switzerland

<4

100%

<16

50%

Please note: In each case where the 100% discount applies, it assumes the child does not require their own place; i.e. the child will share a place with a paying adult. If they require a place of their own then a ticket at the child’s fare will need to be purchased following the rules on the right side of the table.

Group fares

Across Europe’s rail network group discounts are in place to encourage as many people to use rail travel as possible. The discounts vary dependent on which country you visit and which route you take. Here is a summary of those discounts:

Country

Group

Discount

Austria

≥6

20% - 40%

Bulgaria

≥6

20% - 40%

China

>6

25%

Croatia

≥6

20% - 40%

Czech Republic

≥6

20% - 40%

Estonia

≥10

10% - 30%

Finland

≥6

20% - 40%

France

≥6

20% - 40%

Germany

≥6

20% - 40%

Hungary

≥6

20% - 40%

Italy

≥6

20% - 40%

Latvia

≥10

10% - 30%

Lithuania

≥10

10% - 30%

Mongolia

>6

25%

Montenegro

≥6

20% - 40%

Netherlands

≥6

20% - 40%

North Korea

>6

25%

Poland*

≥6

25%

Serbia

≥6

20% - 40%

Slovakia

≥6

20% - 40%

Switzerland

≥6

20% - 40%

Romania

≥6

20% - 40%

*In addition, there is a group discount of 40% when a ‘round trip’ is taken as well as a group discount of 50% for children between the ages of 4 and 12.

When dealing with group bookings that are comprised of a mixture of adults and children, two children equate to one adult.

Please note: These group discounts are not available online. If you have a group that wishes to travel on these routes please contact one of our travel experts who will be happy to help you.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that due to the ever changing nature of the Russian train timetables, and the demand on the Russian train network, tariff and discount information can change at short notice. We will always endeavour to ensure that you receive the best value possible, but these changes are not within our control.

While we always endeavour to select the best available deal for you, any changes made by Russian Railways are not within our control.

Booking and Further Details

Real Russia will always work with you to offer the best available deal for every ticket that we sell. We are able to take reservations well before the tickets are made available for purchase, ensuring that we are able to buy all tickets as early, and as cheaply, as possible.

Rather than displaying very cheap prices for these tickets, only to increase them upon booking with hidden charges, we work hard to display the price you will pay first time, every time; so you can be confident that the price you see is the price you pay.

If you would like to book any Russian train tickets please visit our booking page.

To check the schedules of particular routes, visit our Russian Train Schedules page.

To check the timetables for Trans-Siberian trains, please visit the page for the relevant route; Trans-Russian timetable, Trans-Mongolian timetable, Trans-Manchurian timetable.

If you would like further information regarding the discounts, or have any other question regarding Russian trains, please visit our knowledgebase, our forum or contact us directly.