We explain the myths associated with travel by rail.
Myth 1. An electronic ticket must be printed
Shot from the movie “Murder on the Orient Express” (2017)
Partly wrong. According to the rules of Russian Railways, the conductor on the train can present an electronic ticket on the screen of a mobile phone – provided that you have passed electronic registration. You can do this yourself on the Russian Railways website, but more often than not, registration occurs automatically when buying a ticket: look next to the price for the note “Electronic registration”.
But in some cases it is still necessary to print e-tickets. So, the same Russian Railways website separately prescribes that a printout on A4 sheet must be presented for boarding some international trains (for example, to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus).
Why is it advised to print e-tickets for all trains? This is a simple reassurance. Eventually, the phone may run out of power.
Myth 2. You can only pay in cash
Partly true. It all depends on the train – for example, in modern “Sapsans”, “Swallows” and branded trains, cards are accepted almost everywhere. The terminal may even be at the conductor with a cart of goods. But the trouble is that sometimes the terminals do not work, because there is no connection – then the payment does not go through, the employee gets nervous and asks to pay the old fashioned way. So take with you not only your card, but also cash.
By the way, 47% of the 3000 surveyed OneTwoTrip customers would like to pay on trains with a bank card, for 32% the method of payment on trains does not matter. Cash payment is preferred by 21% of respondents. But despite the desire to pay with bank cards, 68% of all respondents continue to pay for services and food on trains in cash.
Myth 3. There is no Internet or Wi-Fi
A scene from the film “Train to Darjeeling. Desperate Travelers “(2007)
Partly true. In branded trains, Wi-Fi is usually declared, but, for example, even the busiest Moscow – St. Petersburg railway route does not work everywhere. In Sapsan, free Wi-Fi is included for first class passengers and business, the rest will have to pay extra. At the same time, the speed is not very high, and passengers note that it changes depending on the number of active users.
The double-decker trains Moscow-Adler and Moscow-Kazan have free Wi-Fi, but the signal quality depends on the terrain the train passes through.
Therefore, if you need the Internet on the road, we recommend that you insure yourself and ask your mobile operator what tariff options it can offer. Consider only that communication on the way may not be everywhere: before the trip, look at the map of coverage of the territory of Russia with networks of mobile operators.
Myth 4. If you miss the train, you cannot return the ticket and get your money back
A scene from the film “Train to Darjeeling. Desperate Travelers “(2007)
Wrong. After the train departs, you can get some money back. The price of a Russian Railways travel document consists of two parts: the cost of the ticket (payment for using the railway) and the cost of a reserved seat (payment for using the train services). If you are late for your train, the reserved seat will not be returned to you, but the cost of the ticket can be returned. True, 192 rubles 10 kopecks will still be withheld – this is how much for October 2017 is the fee for issuing a ticket return.
To return a ticket, you need to contact the ticket office at the station no later than 12 hours after the train departs. In the first three hours, it is enough just to show a ticket and an identity document, and from the 4th to the end of the 12th hour, you can also write a claim statement (how to do this, the employee at the box office will tell you).
But if from the moment the train departed from 12 hours to 5 days, you will need to attach a document to the application proving that the delay was not your fault (a certificate from a doctor, an accident report). If there is no such document, the money will not be returned. And if the train left more than 5 days ago, too.
Myth 5. There is no normal food on the train.
Partly true. Many trains now issue “Your food ration” – dry rations, which are enough for a snack. It includes water, sandwich, yogurt, juice and biscuits, depending on the duration of the trip and the class of service. If desired, you can buy from the guide, for example, tea, coffee, cookies and instant noodles, but the prices will be higher than in the store.
On some trains, for example, in the first and business classes “Sapsan” or in some branded trains in Russia, breakfast or dinner is already included in the ticket price – it is better to check this moment when buying a ticket from the support service. For dinner, they can offer potatoes with cutlets, and for breakfast, for example, cheese cakes.
And of course you can always go to the dining car for breakfast or dinner. The prices are high there, but on many trains the food is quite tasty. For example, in the dining car of the Rossiya train traveling from Moscow to Vladivostok, chicken fillet with vegetables costs 590 rubles, mushroom soup – 300 rubles, scrambled eggs with ham and vegetables – 285 rubles. In “Sapsan” pork with potatoes costs 500 rubles, hodgepodge “Domashnyaya” – 280 rubles, pancake with cheese and ham – 270 rubles.
The surest way to have a decent snack or meal on the road and at the same time save money is to take food with you, especially if you are not traveling for long. And we are not necessarily talking about chicken and boiled eggs, take a sandwich, dried fruit, bananas or cereal bars. Well, if you still want a full-fledged hot meal or your journey takes more than a day, then go to the restaurant car.
By the way, when buying a ticket to the Sapsana bistro car (5.15 carriage, service class: 2E), the ticket price includes meals and drinks from the menu in the amount of 2,000 rubles. For example, such a ticket with a departure in mid-November costs 4,500 rubles.
Myth 6. If you got off at the station and the train left, you need to buy a new ticket
A scene from the film “Station for Two” (1983)
Wrong. You do not need to buy a new ticket – it is enough to arrange a stopover at the head of the station you are at. So, if you got off at the station and the train didn’t wait for you, go to the ticket office and ask to be marked with a stop. It is important to do this within three hours of the arrival at the station of the train on which you arrived. After that, you can take the next train going in the desired direction, but you will need to pay the cost of a reserved seat – services for using the train. It depends on the destination and the ticket, but usually amounts to 40-50% of the full price. At the same time, keep in mind that you will be put in an empty seat, and it may be of a lower class than on the departed train.
The stop, by the way, can be arranged for up to 10 days – a good opportunity to lengthen the trip.
Myth 7. Trains have no sockets or only one in the conductor’s compartment
Wrong. There are more sockets in the carriages than you think. In compartment cars, they are located between the third (seats 9, 11, 10, 12) and the fourth (13, 14, 15, 16) compartments, as well as between the seventh (25, 26, 27, 28) and eighth (29, 30, 31, 32). In the reserved seat, there are sockets about seats 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 30, 31, 32, 41, 42, 59, 50, and also at the end of the car next to the toilet and the dustbin. On double-decker trains, there are two sockets in each compartment, four in the corridor (two per floor) and one outlet in three toilets.
You can take a pilot with you: this way you won’t have to fight for an outlet with others who want to charge their gadgets. Or take a pre-charged powerbank so you don’t depend on outlets at all.
Myth 8. It’s easy to fall from the second shelf, so it’s better to take tickets to the lower
Still from the film “There are only girls in jazz” (1959)
Wrong. In modern carriages, there are special handrails on the second shelves, and you can only fall if you jump over them in a dream. If there is no such handrail on your shelf, ask the conductor for a belt to fasten. They are always there, and they are given out for free.
Myth 9. Hot water from titanium can only be used by those who bought something from the conductor.
Wrong. Any passenger can take water from titanium. By the way, in many trains titans – special water heaters – were replaced with kettles.
A titanium or kettle is usually found opposite the conductor’s compartment. Titanium looks like a steel tank with a faucet, and the water heats up to “tea” condition about an hour after departure. Please note that if the water in titanium is cold, you can still drink it: it is boiled and just cooled down. Titanium is designed in such a way that running water cannot flow from it.
But you shouldn’t drink tap water in the toilet, it’s technical.
Myth 10. You can’t wash on trains.
Partly true. Most branded trains have a shower – it is better to ask the conductor whether yours has one. For example, there is a shower on the Moscow – Adler train No. 101/102, and on the Smena – A. Betancourt train, which runs between Moscow and St. Petersburg, it is in all cars except the headquarters. To use the shower, however, is not free: for example, in double-decker trains between Moscow and St. Petersburg, this service will cost 150 rubles. Only 16 liters of water are allocated per person, so splashing will not be possible, but rinsing is quite possible. They don’t give out a towel and slippers, take your own.
Preview photo: frame from the film “Eurotrip” (2004)