Travelling first class on the Russian Railways

On our visit to Russia we spent most of the time travelling in second class, but for Christmas Eve we decided to spend the extra money and book out a Spalny Vagon (1st class) compartment for just us.

Boarding the train, our first class compartment ready for our night crossing Russia

On arrival a РЖД branded teaset was on the table, along with two copies of their inhouse magazine.

РЖД branded teaset, and two copies of their inhouse magazine

And the wall behind us even had a TV!

We can even watch Russian TV on the train!

Money well spent, but something that sure adds up when travelling from one end of Russia to another.


There are three classes of accommodation on Russian long distance trains:

  • Spalny Vagon (1st class): 2-berth compartments, with two single beds located either side of the compartment.
  • Kupé (2nd class): 4-berth compartments, with top and bottom bunk beds either of the compartment.
  • Platskartny (3rd class): open dormitory carriages, with 54 berths arranged in bays of 4 on one side of the aisle and bays of 2 along the carriage wall.

On our trip we didn’t slum it down in 3rd class – and due to our holiday being in the middle of winter, we were lucky enough to get a 2nd class compartment to ourselves on every journey.

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