Trains between Moscow and Saint Petersburg


The most travelled route for tourists in Russia is between Moscow and Saint Petersburg and vice versa

There are heaps of different trains with different characteristics and different qualities. How does one choose which one to travel on?

Ian and I rave on about how helpful the Trip Advisor forum members are and yet again one of them has come up trumps with details of the trains in question

(The word "Firmenniy" gets mentioned a lot here. If you don't know what a Firmenniy train is then click here for information: Firmenniy trains.) So here we go:


Trains That Run Between Moscow & St Petersburg

Courtesy of Vlad Alexeyenko


Travelling at night

Travelling between the two cities at night is a viable option as you can save yourself the cost of a night's accommodation.

Train # 1/2 Red Arrow Express - Logo of Russian Railways. This is the most comfortable train in Russia with wider compartments. There are VIP, first and second classes. This train is slightly more expensive than other Firmenniy (top class) trains.

Train # 3/4 Express - Another comfortable train with a big history. There are VIP, first and second classes.

Train # 5/6 Nikolayevskiy Express - This used to be a Firmenniy train but due to having the old train cars it is no longer considered Firmenniy. The idea of this train was to represent Russia before the revolution. The train has pictures on the walls. It is not recommended because the compartments are old. There are first and second classes.

Train # 19/20 Megapolis (mega city) - Quite a comfortable train and is cheaper than other Firmenniy trains. It doesn't belong to the Russian Railways company. There are first and second class carriages.

Train # 25/26 Smena - Another comfortable train with somewhat of a history. First and second class.

Train # 27/28 Northern - Used to be a Firmenniy train however the title was taken away. The train is quite nice, 5 - 6 year old carriages. However they have the old fashioned toilet system which means you can't use the loo for quite a while before the train enters a railway station, whilst the train is stationery or even for quite a while after the train leaves the station so be prepared. There are first, second and third classes.

Train # 29/30 - This train is considered non Firmenniy However, it has the newest carriages of all. It is the second most comfortable train after the Red Arrow Express. It is a recommended train with excellent quality and good prices. There are first, second and a nice third class.

Train # 37/38 Afanasij Nikiten - The name is a bit weird. It's an OK Firmenniy train but not the best one. Some carriages are extremely new, some are older. It's a lottery. There are first, second and third classes.

Train # 47/48 Youth - This train is sometimes added on Fridays and Sundays. Sometimes it is Firmenniy and sometimes not. There are seating carriages as in an aeroplane and also second class seats. Second class is good condition (as in # 25/26 and # 3/4).

Train # 51/52 Standard green train - Old brown carriages, however in good condition. It's the least best of all the trains but I wouldn't call it worst.

Train # 53/54 Grand Express - First class train. All carriages are either first class or VIP. If you are travelling with somebody and you can afford to pay then this is your best option. I recommend class 1H. The whole compartment (for two people and a child) costs $400 USD. There are wide compartments with a private shower, washroom, TV, DVD etc plus widest beds of all.

Train # 55/56 - Non Firmenniy train, however, the carriages in second and first class are still like some in Firmenniy trains. Similar to trains 19/20 and 63/64. It is a recommended train and has a longer night trip from St Petersburg so you can sleep more.

Train # 63/64 Two Capitals - Another classic Firmenniy train, not the best one but comfortable. First, second and third classes.


Travelling during the day

There used to be several day trains between the two cities but these have been pretty much replaced by the new Sapsan Express trains. Here some fabulous photos of the interior of the Sapsan. Here are some photos of the exterior of the Sapsan . The journey takes less than four hours from St Petersburg to Moscow and vice versa. Sapsan trains are an excellent choice for day travel. Large windows allow you to see the beautiful countryside Russia possesses. The seats are wider and better quality than those in airplanes.


Don't want to use a train?

You can of course not use a train at all. There are buses available but it is a long journey and this mode of transport is not recommended. There are also flights. At you can catch a flight for only $60 USD (slightly more in Australian dollars) including all taxes.




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