Buying Russian Train Tickets

As a fully licensed and bonded specialist tour operator with direct contracts with the Russian Railways, Real Russia can issue, and deliver, Russian rail tickets either as an E-Ticket by email, or as a paper ticker via courier, worldwide. As you would expect our service is on-line, trackable, competitively priced and managed to the highest standards.

We can supply single, return or multi-leg journeys within Russia, China and Mongolia, as well as throughout Europe and the CIS countries; particularly those countries that border Russia. In particular, we specialise in Trans-Siberian journeys between Moscow and the Far East.

Booking your Russian, European and Asian Rail Tickets

To start planning your journey, select your departure and arrival points, as well as your date of travel, from the search engine below and press ‘Search for available trains’. You will then be able to select, and book, your train. Alternatively, select one of the links to the right of the search engine for further information.

When can I book my tickets?

While Russian, Mongolian and Chinese railways don't allow booking of tickets more than a few weeks before the departure date, Real Russia can take your details at any time so we can book your tickets as soon as they go on sale.

These are the current booking windows:

  • Russian Railways issue tickets up to 90 days in advance for domestic travel, and 60 days for international travel.
  • Mongolian Railways issue tickets around 14 days in advance for all travel; this can change depending on demand and public holidays.
  • Chinese Railways issue tickets around 10 - 12 (sometimes up to 30) days in advance of travel; this can fluctuate depending on demand and public holidays.

If you are booking within the booking window, we can book your tickets immediately. If you want to book for a date outside of the booking window, Real Russia will save your booking enquiry on our system so on the first day of sales we can immediately book your journey. We require payment before booking and one of our travel specialists will be in touch to confirm your booking details in advance of booking.

By taking ticket reservations as early as we do it allows us to gurantee places, even with more popular bookings like First Class carriages and the Moscow-Vladivostok Rossiya.

By taking your details as early as we do, we are able to start the booking process as soon as the tickets go on sale. This gives us an advantage over other agencies who may wait until the tickets are on sale before taking your details. It is very important that we can book your tickets as soon as possible as there is huge demand for them; particularly for First Class tickets or any tickets bought during the summer months.

Do I have to buy any tickets that I have requested?

No. A request for ticket prices through the search engine above is not a commitment to purchase. We will only take payment and obtain tickets once you have instructed us to do so.

How can I pay for my tickets?

There are numerous means by which you can pay for your Russian train tickets, and their delivery (if by courier) dependent on whichever is best for you:

All services must be fully paid before your tickets are booked and are subject to our standard Terms and Conditions.

How do I receive my tickets?

There are a variety of ways that you can receive your train tickets depending on your needs.

All delivery times here are calculated from the point at which the ticket is booked and issued.

Delivery Method Delivery Time Cost
Electronic Registration/Tickets by email 10 minutes Free
Delivery to a UK address by combined courier and Royal Mail Special Delivery ≤ 5 working days £12
Delivery to a European address by combined courier and Royal Mail Airsure 20 working days £25
Delivery worldwide by courier 1 to 3 working days POA
Delivery in Moscow by city courier to your hotel or apartment Date as requested £10
Delivery in St. Petersburg by DHL to your hotel or apartment Date as requested £35
Collection from our offices in Moscow Date as requested Free
Collection from European booking offices By arrangement POA
Collection from our London office ≤ 5 working days £10

Can I cancel tickets that I have already purchased and get a refund?

Yes, it is possible to cancel booked train tickets and recieve a refund however there is a standard administration charge of £10 (or USD/EUR equivalent) for each ticket you wish to cancel.

Refunds are caclulated on a sliding scale and will depend on how fare in advance you are cancelling your tickets, generally the further in advance you cancel your tickets the more you can be refunded. Refund rules will vary depending upon the country of travel but generally work on a similar sliding scale principle.

If you have been issued a paper ticket we will need the paper ticket to issue your refund; if you have already recieved the paper ticket you'll need to post them to our Moscow office at your own charge. Because we need the paper ticket to process the refund, we will calculate the refund date as the date we recieve the ticket, not when we request the cancellation. If you have international paper tickets and are already travelling, it may be difficult to cancel the tickets. In that case, you would need to go to the ticket counter in the nearest station and cancel them there. You'll recieve a cancellation receipt but not a refund. You then send the cancellation receipt and unused tickets to our Moscow office and we can process the refund, minus your cancellation fee.

Cancellations must be made before the departure date and cannot be made if you miss your train. You have up to four months from the date of cancellation to send us your cancellation receipt and unused ticket.

If you've booked E-tickets, and haven't collected your tickets yet, or have E-registration tickets we can cancel the tickets as soon as you notify us. Please note, if you contact us outside of our Moscow office working hours they will be dealt with the next day.

 If you are in Moscow and feel that the language barrier may stop you from being able to cancel, feel free to pop into our Moscow office and our staff will be happy to help.

Please note:

  • Any postage costs incurred by yourself in receiving the tickets are non-refundable.
  • Where cancellation requests are received within eight hours of the time of departure, we cannot guarantee that any refund will be offered by the ticket issuer.

If you wish to cancel tickets, please contact your travel specialist who can advise you on your specific case.

Can I upgrade my ticket?

You would need to cancel your existing ticket and book a new ticket for the desired class. The costs involved would be the standard £10 (or USD/EUR equivalent) cancellation fee and the price difference between the refund amount from the original ticket and the new ticket.

What if there are no First Class tickets?

First class tickets are limited and very popular so tend to sell quickly. If you would like space and privacy but are unable to purchase a First Class ticket, you can book the upper and lower berth in a cabin for more space. If yuo are travelling as a two this means ou can book the sole use of a cabin.

To do this simple chose an upper and lower berth in the rail ticket booking panel and add a note in the comments section informing our travel specialists of your intention.

Alternatively, contact our travel specialists directly for further assistance.

There is a mistake on my ticket, what do I do?

Contact our travel experts for advice. As a rule, you will be allowed to board the train with one mistake on your ticket. Missing a letter in your name, or a mistype of a letter in your name, would each count as one mistake. Beyond one mistake a new ticket would need to be issued.

Issuing a new ticket would involve cancelling the current ticket at the standard cancellation fee (£10 + any fee levied by the ticket issuer) and purchasing a new ticket at the current price; which may be more expensive than the price paid originally. 

For this reason we recommend checking all details on any tickets booked immediately upon receipt of them; particularly if you have booked any tickets under the ‘Plan Ahead’ offer as you may be forced to buy your new ticket for up to twice what you originally paid for it.

How do I read my ticket?

We have made a guide here on ‘How to Read Russian Train Tickets’.

If you have E-tickets or E-registration the emial we send you will include an English translation.

Is there an equivalent to the European style ‘Rail Pass’ allowing unrestricted use of trains?

There is no rail pass program, you'll need to buy individual tickets. If you're travelling via multiple towns or cities you can use our Trans-Siberian Journey Planner or check our Russian train schedules to work out timings for your preferred route.

I have a ticket, but I need a visa, can you help?

Real Russia is the number one independent Russian visa processing company in the UK with over a decade of experience in Russian, European and Asian visas.

You can find out more about our visas by visiting our Visa home page or emailing

Are there reduced price tickets for children?

You can find out information about children's discounts here.

What do I need to do to travel to Kaliningrad?

Kaliningrad is a part of Russia that is separated from the main bulk of Russia by three countries, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia. Because of this, in addition to purchasing a train ticket to make the journey, you may need to apply for additional visas.

Before booking, you should contact one of our visa specialists to ensure that you have all the correct documentation to make the trip.

Can you help if I have an emergency?

If you are in need of any assistance while you are travelling, we offer a dedicated 24 hour telephone support service.

For all emergencies you can call us on +44 (0) 207 100 7370 where our operators are available to provide help 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you experience any problems while you are away, our team can offer guidance and support. If, for example, you are experiencing difficulty boarding a train, collecting your train ticket or any number of other travel issues, you can call our emergency helpline for immediate assistance.

I have questions about trains unrelated to tickets.

If you have any further questions please see our Frequently Asked Questions about train travel page. Here you will find a wealth of information such as the facilities on board trains, what to expect from train carriages and what to do if you lose your ticket.

Alternatively visit our forums. There you will find many fellow travellers who may have the answer to your questions.

You could also contact our travel experts directly, who will be happy to help with any queries that you may have.