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'What has enabled Russia to rise among the great powers of the world…has been the conquest of Siberia'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Rail boss vows classier travel through Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
14 November 2013

Old 'third class' to go, and double decker trains to revolutionise travel.

Westerners were often puzzled in Soviet times about the different classes in rail travel in a 'classless' country. Picture: nord-new.ru

A major change in rail travel with an end to 'anachronistic' third class travel is being planned by the head of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin. Westerners were often puzzled in Soviet times about the different classes in rail travel in a 'classless' country. Now it seems such travel modes as 'third class', 'platz cart' and 'common class' are to be consigned to history, though not immediately. 

'Such an anachronism as third class which stayed only in our country should give way to more comfortable ways of transporting people,' explained the rail supremo. 'I can't say that we are going to replace them within the next ten years, it is not a matter of the immediate future either, but we are not going to postpone it.'

He sees the future in classier travel at better prices, which can benefit Russian as well as foreign travellers through Siberia. The recent introduction of double decker carriages between Moscow and the Olympic city of Sochi shows the way to the future. 

'Having two storey carriages on that route let us cut the 1st class compartments prices by 30%,' he said. 'There is an increase in people buying first class tickets because the price came down almost to the level of the second class.'

Carriages offer air conditioning, wifi, energy saving lights and information panels. Still, the old economically priced tickets were a cost-effective way to travel for army conscripts on their way home, students and pensioners.

Comments (1)

as long as he can keep the prices down...! I am all for it!
Eric, China
16/11/2013 00:42
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