Also in this section
There are basically two different class of carriage on the train, go and see several pictures of the cabins.
All International trains keep high standards. Clean bedding is provided on all trains and there is nearly always a dining-car on board preparing local cuisine. There is limited availability of First Class carriages and we strongly recommened you book far in advance if you would like a chance to upgrade to First Class tickets. Russian Railways are slowing introducing a 'service wagon' which has a pay-for shower and Internet / laundry services, but this carriage is not confirmed on each service at the moment.
Standard Second Class
Also known as '2/4 Hard Sleeper' or 'kupé'. Standard Second Class has four comfortable beds per cabin and is the same on all trains.
Also Known as '1/2 Soft sleeper' or 'spalny wagon' / 'SV'. First Class has two berths in each cabin either in bunk bed upper and lower alignment with a small sofa (on Chinese / Mongolian trains) or two lower berths (on Russian trains).
Then the are sub-divisions of the carriage set-up on different trains and different routes.
- Chinese train #3/4 and #23/24 between Beijing / Ulaanbaatar and Moscow has a 'First Class Deluxe' carriage with two berths in upper and lower arrangement, a small sofa and a small wash and shower cubicle with lockable doors and shared with your adjoining cabin. There is also a first class 1/4 class on this train with four beds and a slightly larger floor space - just 16 cms wider - we do not offer this class as a rule.
- Mongolian train #23/24 between Beijing and Ulanbaatar has a 'First Class Deluxe' carriage with two berths in upper and lower arrangement, a comfortable sofa, DVD players and a small washroom and toilet in each cabin.
- Mongolian / Russian train #362 / 263 between Ulanbaatar and Irkutsk is a local service and only has second class four berth cabins (no first class available).
Which to choose?
Standard second class has four comfortable berths per cabin, with 36 people in each carriage. There are communal toilets and wash-basin at both ends of each carriage. In first Class there are just two berths per cabin and only 18 beds in each carriage, the toilet facilities are the same. Second class tends to be very social with cabin doors left open during the day and people chatting in the corridors, whereas in first class there is a little more space in the cabin and so you tend to keep the door closed. The advantage of first class apart from the extra privacy if you are travelling as a couple, will be less queues for the toilet in the morning and you are closer to the dining car!
Take a virtual tour of the Trans-Siberian trip from Moscow to Vladivosok on train #1 'Rossiya', courtesy of Russian Railways.
There is electricity all along the route and at the stop-overs.
On the trains there is normally a plug on the corridor (so the
provodnitsa can vacuum the carpet!) and in first class there
may be a plug in your cabin. Electricity is 220 v AC voltage.
You will need a European type power plug with two round pins
(similar to the two pin round plug in China as well).
Often the power on the train is switched off and we have heard of entrepreneurial conductors charging portable devices in their cabin overnight, for a price.