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Buying Russian Train Tickets

TrainAs 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.

How do I book Russian Train 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 from any of the available trains and ticket classes before entering your passenger details and payment information so that we can either reserve your ticket or book it immediately. This will depend on the number of days before you travel. Alternatively, select one of the links to the right of the search engine for further information.

To start planning your journey fill in the form and search.

Winter time changes may affect your train ticket schedule. For more information see our Service status page

When can I book my tickets?

While Russian Railways and other ticket issuers will not allow the booking/issuing of tickets more than a few weeks before the date of departure, Real Russia can take reservations on bookings for any date or time.

As it stands, these are the rules that the following issuers use when issuing tickets:

  • Russian Railways issue tickets 45 days in advance for domestic travel and 60 days in advance for international travel.
  • Mongolian Railways issue tickets around two weeks in advance for all travel; this can fluctuate depending on demand and public holidays.
  • Chinese Railways issue tickets around 10 days in advance of travel; this can fluctuate depending on demand and public holidays.

If you would like to start your journey within these dates we will book and, where possible (such as when E-Tickets/E-Registration are selected), issue your tickets immediately.

If you would like to start your journey on dates further in advance than these rules allow, Real Russia will reserve your ticket in our system so that on the first day that booking is available your ticket will be booked and, where possible (such as when E-Tickets/E-Registration are selected), issued immediately. Payment will be required before booking takes place; one of our travel experts will be in touch to confirm these details in advance of taking the booking.

By taking reservations as early as we do, it allows us to guarantee places on those trains, and in those classes, that are particularly popular, such as First Class on the Rossiya between Moscow and Vladivostok. These can be difficult to secure via other means.

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.

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 ≤ 10 working days £12
Delivery to a European address by combined courier and Royal Mail Airsure ≤ 12 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 city courier to your hotel or apartment Date as requested £25
Collection from our offices in Moscow Date as requested Free
Collection from European booking offices By arrangement POA
Collection from our London office ≤ 10 working days £10
Delivery to London address via London office ≤ 10 working days £12

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

Yes, it is possible to cancel booked train tickets and receive a refund.

There is a standard administration charge for of £10 for each ticket that you wish to cancel.

Refunds are calculated by the ticket issuer on a sliding scale that differs for domestic train tickets and international train tickets based on how much time there is before your date, and time, of departure; the earlier the cancellation is made, the higher the refund generally is. If you are taking an international journey the cancellation policies of each country en route may differ but, as a rule, work on the same sliding scale principal.

If physical tickets have been issued for your journey, such as will be the case for international train tickets, then we must have these in our possession in order to issue a refund. If the tickets are already in your possession when you decide to cancel them, you must return them to our Moscow office at your own cost. Because we need the tickets in our possession in order to cancel them, the date that we receive your tickets is the date that we will use to calculate your total refund; not the date that you request your cancellation.

If you have made a booking by requesting E-Tickets and you have yet to collect your tickets at the booking office, or you have made your booking by requesting E-Registration, then we are able to cancel the tickets on receipt of your written request (by email, fax or letter); provided it is received during the working hours of our Moscow office. Any cancellation requests received outside of these times (including public/national holidays) will be acted upon as if they had been sent on the next working day; not the date that your request was sent.

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.

Can I upgrade my ticket?

Yes, though it is not a simple ‘upgrade’. The process would be to cancel your existing ticket, before issuing a new ticket for the desired class. The costs involved would be the standard £10 cancellation fee and the price difference between whatever refund you receive from the original ticket and the new ticket.

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

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

Issuing a new ticket would involve cancelling the current ticket at the standard cancellation fee (£10) 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 the 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?

No matter how you choose to receive you tickets, the general information given on them is the same; though unless you have a working understanding of Russian, they can be a little confusing and daunting.

To help with this we have put together a guide on ‘How to Read Russian Train Tickets’ to help with deciphering what everything means on a physical train ticket.

If you opt for E-Tickets or E-Registration, then when we email you we will include an English translation so that you can feel confident in all the information included.

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

Unfortunately there is no Rail Pass programme in place on the Russian train network. You will need to buy individual tickets for each journey on the Russian train network. If you are planning on travelling via multiple towns or cities, such as along the Trans-Siberian railway, you may want to make use of our Trans-Siberian Journey Planner in order to plan ahead or, alternatively, you may want to check the Russian train schedules to work out when trains are running between the various towns/cities on your route.

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

Yes, we can. Real Russia is the number one independent Russian visa processing company in the UK, with over a decade of experience in securing visas for thousands of people. Our service is fully inclusive with no hidden costs such as invitations or other support documents; though these can be bought separately if you wish.

We are also able to secure visas throughout Europe and Asia, ensuring that if you would like to take a trip by train all the way from London to Beijing via the Trans-Siberian railway that we can serve all your visa needs. Our visa experts are able to process each visa back to back, simplifying the process for you and taking much of the stress away.

For more information visit our Visa home page or email visas@realrussia.co.uk

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 trains 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.