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New Year on Wheels

Passengers choose to travel by the rail on New Year's holidays

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Federal Passenger Company (FPC) has put on about 1 thousand additional trains for New Year holidays, it is twice more than a year before. Experts note the interest of passengers in traveling in Russia, as well as the need to maintain the same level of service.

Demand exceeds expectations

This number of additional trains will offer more than 4 million seats, the FPC press service stated to 1520 International. They will run from December 23, 2022 to January 9, 2023. The number of tickets sold has already reached 80% of last year's level. 

Additional trains will depart not only on the most popular routes from Moscow and St. Petersburg to major regional centers (we are talking about tens of cities), but also on other interregional routes. The volume of traffic on Petrozavodsk - Pskov, Yekaterinburg - Nizhnevartovsk, Tomsk - Biysk, Rostov-on-Don - Imeretinsky Resort, Rostov-on-Don - Kislovodsk, Rostov - Adler / Rosa Khutor, Vladikavkaz - Adler, Mineralnye Vody - Anapa will grow. And Kotlas, for example, will receive additional trains from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, and Yekaterinburg.

According to Ilya Zotov, a member of the Public Chamber of Russia, the said number of additional trains is absolutely justified. 
He told 1520 International that “As compared to last year, we have limited traffic to international destinations. To rest, to see new cities, places of interest, people will mainly use the railroad. It's more usual and more logical for us than going by plane for such purposes.” 
Support measures for air carriers, which hold down the price for air tickets, will end on December 31, the expert continued. 

“Support measures for next year have not yet been outlined,” he warned. - All this suggests that at some point the cost of air travel will be significantly higher than the cost of rail tickets.”

The New Year is always a busy period in terms of travel by rail. The FPC specified that the peak periods will traditionally fall on December 29-30, 2022 and January 6-8, 2023. 

In a conversation with 1520 International, Kirill Yankov, Chairman of the Passenger Union of Russia and a member of the public council under the Russian Ministry of Transport said, “People not only want to have a little vacation - they go home, to their homeland, to their relatives. Many of them temporarily live, work, study in Moscow and other major cities. The masses are getting into motion.”

Currently many airports in southern Russia are closed, and this, in his opinion, explains the large number of additional trains.

High standard

Kirill Yankov positively evaluates the level of service in extra trains for the New Year holidays. He reminded that conductors have been congratulating passengers on time for many years. 

“And there is no need to think up anything special for New Year's," he said. - We need to ensure that the level of service of all carriers does not decrease, so that passengers don't complain about broken doors and stoves that don't work.” 

In Kirill Yankov's opinion, the fears are caused by the fact that the New Year's transportation involves also those cars that have been standing idle for a long time, since August. The main thing is that everything must be in order and all works according to the modern standards. 
If the demand keeps growing, they noted in FPC, it is possible to include extra cars in trains. Additional trains are still allocated to the most popular destinations, and new tickets go on sale. 

Dmitry Khrapovitsky

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