What is a Firmenniy train?

 

When trying to work out which trains to travel on we wondered what was the difference between a Firmenniy train and other fast trains.

The Firmenniy trains (like the Rossiya # 001) cost quite a bit more to travel on so there had to be some advantage to travelling "Firmenniy". I contacted Real Russia and an extremely helpful assistant sent me this information:

 


Characteristics of the Firmenniy trains

"Every Firmenniy train is decorated in its own unique style. This can be seen from both outside and inside. Every train has got its own name and it is usually connected with the history of the rail department this train belongs too as well as the region and traditions.

Firmenniy trains are formed of the passenger carriages which are in operation of not more than 12 years after they are manufactured or thoroughly repaired. There are always carriages of a higher comfort on Firmenniy trains. The cost for a special service is included in the ticket cost. The carriages of a higher comfort can be divided into economy, business-class and luxe categories.

Some trains are attached with the carriages of a higher comfort and luxe class ( there are only 4 cabins in a carriage, heated floors, separate shower facility and toilet rooms). It is possible to attach a higher comfort luxe class carriage to a train under an organization request to the Federal Passenger Directory.

In accordance with the requirements to a Firmenniy train the inside temperature during cold seasons to be between 18-22 C and between 22-26 C during the summer time. Most of the trains are now equipped with air conditioning and heating systems, TV sets, some have Internet access and cable TV.

The crew of Firmenniy trains are the best carriage attendants, certified to work on a Firmenniy train.

 

Service on a Firmenniy train:

A guaranteed minimum of services for a Firmenniy train:

 

Every Firmenniy train has got a list for additional paid services:

OJSC "RZD" continues to introduce new additional services for Firmenniy trains:

There is always a restaurant car on a Firmenniy train. The menu includes Firmenniy (or national) dishes as well as complex lunches. Meal for children and dietary food can be cooked under a passenger request. The food can be ordered to be delivered to a cabin."

 

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Now we understand the differences between the two standards of fast trains. As a treat we are going to travel Luxe class on a Firmenniy train between Vladivostok and Ulan Ude. After that we are going to diversify and travel on as many different types and classes of trains as we can.

At the time of writing this (early 2010) the cost of Firmenniy travel on the Rossiya train from Vladivostok to Ulan Ude, booked via Real Russia, is as follows:

Business class is 1st class with services - £459.00 pp one way ($803 AUD)

Luxe class is 1st class without services - £395.00 pp one way ($691 AUD)

Economy class is 2nd class with services (4 berth compartment) - £304.00 pp one way ($532 AUD)

We are opting for the 1st class without services as we don't want on-board meals and the other luxuries such as hand-cream and bath robes etc. We want to bring some of our own food and also buy heaps from the Babushkas who ply the platforms with food.

 

Please note that buying tickets through an agency is an expensive way to buy them. It is far cheaper if you can manage to buy them via the official government railway site.

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