Understanding Russian, Mongolian and Chinese train tickets
We provide an English itinerary outlining all the important information with every train ticket that we sell; whether you are travelling in Russia, or further afield. However, if you do not read Russian (for Russian domestic and Trans-Siberian tickets), German (for many of our European tickets), or Chinese (Chinese domestic and international tickets) and would like to know what all the information on a train ticket means, then we have put together a brief guide for you.
We have included several of the paper ticket types that you will most commonly come across, as well as information on what it all means. If you would like to print them out, or save them for future reference, each ticket is available as a PDF by clicking on it. Alternatively, click here to download them all together!
Russian domestic train tickets are issued for all train travel within Russia. They will include all the essential details you need to know including seat and carriage numbers, class, arrival / departure stations, dates, and times. As Russian trains usually take a long time to travel between stations, you will often find additional information on your train ticket including bed linen, meals and passport number.
hinese domestic train tickets are issued when travelling by train within China. These tickets include the date, train ID, carriage number, berth, class, fare, as well as the arrival / departure station and times. Some of these may also include a passport number. Vouchers, such as in the example below, will also include a ‘status’ which, if valid, will show as ‘confirmed’.
Chinese international train tickets are issued when travelling from China into another country. These tickets typically include details in Chinese and English and indicate the class, carriage and berth number along with the arrival / departure dates, times and stations. Additional personal details including your passport number and nationality will be included on your ticket due to crossing the border.
Mongolian international train tickets are issued to travellers in Mongolia when travelling through to another country. Similar to Chinese train tickets, Mongolian tickets include the train, carriage and room number as well as the standard arrival and departure information. These tickets now also include your passport number, nationality, full name and date of birth.
There are several types of train used on the Russian rail network that can vary greatly from European trains. The icons below are how you will see the train represented in the Real Russia booking system, the Cyrillic characters are how you will find the train represented on the train ticket itself.
There are two main categories of Chinese trains, high speed (bullet trains) and regular. When booking, the train number will always be preceded by one of the letters indicated below, i.e. G101, or Z101. This letter will tell you what kind of train it is, and how quickly you can expect to reach your destination.
High-speed trains (bullet trains):
There are many variations on the carriage classes available on the Russian train network. Generally tickets are split into three categories, with variations within each of these:
The ticket classes on Chinese trains are different than the ones on Russian trains, though they also offer a comfortable experience.
On the bullet trains (G, D, C) you can find the following classes of travel:
On the standard trains (non-bullet ones: Z, T, K, K,Y,S) you can book the following classes:
When booking your train ticket in certain classes, particularly those with the letter Э after the class number (i.e. 1, 2 or 3) meals are included. In our system, these are represented by this symbol – – where 0 equates to the number of included meals. This will change dependent on the length of your journey. On your ticket, the number of meals will be represented by a ‘У’ icon followed by the number of meals; so, for example, У4. On each train the dining car will have variable opening hours, so to make the most of your included meals please ensure you check these times as soon as possible after you have boarded the train.
Please note: the number of meals are represented for the entire journey, not per day.
Bed linen is generally included as part of your ticket. Where it is not, you will need to purchase some when you board the train. It is not permissible to bring your own.
This will usually include the following information:
It is very important that all this information is correct. It is possible to still board the train with one mistake, but any more than this will require a new ticket to be issued. For further information on this visit our Buying Russian Train Tickets page.