Train tickets. F.A.Q.

In this article you can see some of the most frequently asked questions about train-ticket purchase and answers to them (in order to refresh your memory with the benefits of Russian travel you should read the relevant article).

a.      How do I receive my train tickets?

 There are a number of ways this can happen depending on the type of ticket you have ordered.

  • E-Ticket – These will be emailed from Real Russia to you within two working days of payment. This voucher will then need to be printed, and exchanged at a rail ticket office within Russiafor a paper ticket, before boarding your train. The identification used to book the ticket will need to be presented; this will usually be your passport.
  • E-Registration – This will be emailed from Real Russia to you within two working days of payment. This voucher can then be printed and used to board the train. The identification used to book the ticket will need to be presented; this will usually be your passport.
  • Paper Ticket – There are a number of options with regards to paper tickets.
      • For tickets departing from a station within Russia, you can have your tickets delivered by courier worldwide, or, if you are beginning your journey in Moscow, they can be delivered to a hotel or collected from the Real Russia offices. Courier prices will vary dependent on location.
      • For tickets departing from a station in China or Mongolia, you can collect them from one of Real Russia partner offices, or have them delivered to a hotel within the relevant city. Further details will be made available on booking.

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

Contact Real Russia travel experts for advice in this instance (you can do it in the form of response to a letter with your tickets).

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 of 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 and purchasing a new ticket at the current price; which may be more expensive than the price paid originally.

For this reason Real Russia specialists recommend checking all the details on any tickets booked immediately upon receipt of them.

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

Yes, you can.

Contact Real Russia travel experts for advice in this instance (you can do it in the form of response to a letter with your tickets).

Refunds are calculated by the ticket issuer on a sliding scale that differs for domestic, and international, train tickets from country to country. Generally speaking, the amount of refund you will be eligible for will depend on how many days remain before your date of departure. The nearer to your date of departure, the smaller the available refund.

If physical tickets have been issued, such as those issued for an international journey, departing from Russia, then  Real Russia partner company  will need the tickets in their possession to process the cancellation and refund. If the tickets are already in your possession you will need to send the tickets to Real Russia’s Moscow office at your own expense.

If you have international tickets, and are travelling within Russia already, then returning them to Real Russia partner  may be difficult. In this instance you can go to the ticket counter in your closest station and cancel them there. You will be given a cancellation receipt and your unused ticket, but no immediate refund. You will need to send this cancellation receipt, and your unused ticket, to Real Russia’s Moscow office, at your own cost, who will then be able to process the refund. Your cancellation must be made before the departure date and time on the ticket. You will then have up to four months from the date of cancellation in which to claim your refund.

If your booking is an e-ticket, and you have yet to exchange your voucher for a paper ticket at a station within Russia, or your booking is e-registration, Real Russia travel specialists will be able to process your cancellation.  All requests received will be processed on the next working day. During peak times, such as during the summer, processing may not take place until 48 hours after receipt of your request. All refunds will be calculated based on when Real Russia travel specialists are able to process your request.

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d.      Are prices reduced for children?

Children are eligible for reduced ticket prices.

Within Russia, children under 5 can travel for free with one paying adult provided they share one place. If the child requires their own space, or is between the age of 5 and 10, they will need to pay, but at a reduced rate of around 40 % – 50% of the regular ticket price.

Children’s prices to, from, and within other countries may vary, in both price and what ages are considered to be children; though, generally, prices will be around 40% – 50% cheaper than adult tickets.

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e.      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 booking system can take your details at any time in preparation for booking when the ticket issuers allow.

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 – 12 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 Real Russia travel specialists will book and, where possible (such as when E-Tickets/E-Registration are selected), issue your tickets within two working days.

If you would like to start your journey on dates further in advance than these rules allow, Real Russia booking system will save your booking enquiry 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 within two working days. Payment will be required before booking takes place; one of Real Russia travel experts will be in touch to confirm these details in advance of confirming the booking.

Please note:

Owing to the fact that the ticket issuers are based in various time zones around the world, the time at which Real Russia travel specialists are able to book/issue your tickets may vary.

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f.        Is Russian train travel safe?

Millions of people, both Russian locals and tourists, travel safely on Russian trains every year. In many ways they are the safest trains to travel on.

  • Each carriage is looked after 24 hours a day by at least one or two conductors.
  • Each passenger must show their ticket upon entry and present with it an official identification document; for foreign visitors this will usually be a passport.
  • At every stop the train will be checked to ensure there is no damage.

With regards to remaining safe and secure, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has the following to say:

    • If you are travelling by overnight train in a sleeping compartment, store valuables in the container under the bed or seat. Don’t leave your sleeping compartment unoccupied as some compartments only have a simple lock on the sliding door. On some trains there may be an additional security device, which can be attached to the fitted handle/lock unit. There may also be a steel switch at head-height on the door panel which, when pulled down, prevents the closed door from being slid open.
    • Don’t agree to look after the luggage of a fellow traveller or allow it to be stored in your compartment.

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 g.      What are ‘gender specific’ cabins?

 On the many trains travelling the Russian rail network it is possible to select to travel in a male, or female only cabin. This may be of interest to lone female travellers who may feel awkward, or unsafe, sharing a room, exclusively, with men they do not know.

You can only mark a cabin for single gender use if it is currently empty. If there are any bookings at all this will not be possible. Once a cabin has been selected for single gender use it is not possible to change it back again. Please bear this in mind if you are travelling with, or potentially travelling with, a member of the opposite sex.

Real Russia travel specialists cannot guarantee that single gender cabins will be available. The earlier you book the more likely it is that you will be successful in creating a single gender cabin.

Not all countries that have connections with the Russian rail network operate single gender cabins. So if you travel outside of Russia in a single gender cabin, you may find that the cabin becomes open to all again.

You will find gender specific cabins in the booking system by looking for tickets marked with sign-gender-specific-cabins.

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Useful links


Enjoy your trip, explore real Russia!

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