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The train goes to the fairy tale

Russian Railways will show its passengers Veliky Ustyug, Karelia and many other cities and regions of the Russian Federation on New Year

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During the New Year holidays the holding company offers more than 15 major routes, and travelers also have an opportunity to spend their vacations in the neighboring countries.

Multidimensional cooperation

"Focusing on the challenges of the tourist market, special attention has recently been paid to the development and promotion of domestic railway tourism. Many passengers choose railway transport for their trips more often now, which allows travelling across the country comfortably and safely", - says Artashes Kirakosyan, deputy head of the Transportation Organization Department of JSC "Federal Passenger Company" (FPC).

Individual tour operators may act as initiators of organization of new routes. "This is a process that requires concentration of efforts - it is always necessary to solve a lot of tasks, coordinate the work of several departments", - first deputy head of Russian Railways’ Department of Passenger Transportation Elena Rakova told "1520 International". 

A tourist train is an opportunity for passengers to travel to several cities or regions of the country, get acquainted with the peculiarities of national culture and traditions of indigenous population.

Routes to suit all tastes

According to the holding company, it is planned to organize at least 15 major tourist New Year's routes during the holidays. Traditional projects including "Winter Fairy Tale", "Greatness of the North", " Frost-Express", "To Karelia", "Ski arrows", "To Siberia" and others are planned for the winter season 2022-2023. There is also a new product - "Belarusian Voyage".

During their tourist trip passengers not only discover new cities and architecture, but also become acquainted with the traditions of the indigenous population and local cuisine, and get unforgettable emotions and impressions.

For example, the tourist train "To Karelia" makes a visit to Karelian Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden. Especially for this purpose the train makes a stop at Chalna-Onezhskaya station, near which the winter magician's estate is located. A trip to visit the Karelian Santa Claus - Talvi Ukko - will leave unforgettable impressions both for children and adult travelers. In Chalna, the train will stay for about 5 hours - enough time for a fabulous adventure. Tourists will be able to visit the residence of Talvi Ukko and the palace of the local Snow Maiden Lumikki, see how they live, and even personally communicate with them. Guests of Grandfather Frost can meet the inhabitants of Russia's largest kennel of sled dogs, a reindeer farm, take a ride on a dog or a reindeer sled, participate in various entertainment programs, and try herbal tea with Karelian pies.

The "Winter Tale" train is a special delight for adults and children. Until January 6 inclusive, it will run from Moscow on separate dates through two magical cities - Veliky Ustyug and Kostroma, where holiday-makers can plunge into a real winter fairy tale, visiting the official residences of Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden. 

Especially for those who want to devote more time to railway travel, there will be "The Greatness of the North" train organized during the New Year holidays. Its route will pass through several unique regions of the Russian North: Karelia, Vologda and Arkhangelsk regions. Travelers will visit the Ruskeala Mountain Park, Arkhangelsk, and Veliky Ustyug. The trips will depart from Moscow on January 1 and 6, 2023. 

There will also be a traditional tour "To Siberia". The train will take its passengers along the route Moscow - Kazan - Tyumen - Tobolsk - Perm - Moscow on January 2. 

Within six days travelers will visit four most beautiful cities of Russia and feel all the charm and power of the harsh Siberian nature.  During the trip tourists will have an opportunity to taste culinary delights, dip into warm thermal springs, and buy gastronomic souvenirs.

Travelers can also go on a nostalgic trip by the tourist retro train "Sochi" on a tour from Tuapse / Sochi to Gagra on December 30, as well as on January 2 - 8. 

Another offer is "the Belarusian Voyage" on the route Moscow - Grodno / Brest - Minsk - Moscow. Previously, there were five runs on this route in summer and autumn. However, given the increased demand, Russian Railways has added another one on January 2.

According to RZhD Tour, about 100 seats are offered for the New Year's Belarusian voyage with a visit to Brest. Booking is very active.

Given the projected increase in the tourist traffic from Russia to Belarus, the positive experience of the project will be used in 2023.

Comfort above all

Tourist trains are long-distance trains that need to be comfortable for travelers. For this purpose, Russian Railways often uses cars of enhanced comfort, mainly sleeping and De Luxe cars.

According to Artashes Kirakosyan, tourist trains use modern cars with pneumatic suspension, showers and USB charging, bar cars, cars with children's compartments, luxury cars (with individual bio-toilets and showers). This level of service enables tourists to fully enjoy their leisure time even on a long trip.

To upgrade its rolling stock, Russian Railways maintains an ongoing dialogue with car manufacturers. For example, the so-called sightseeing "observation car" is under development now for retro and tourist trips - with enlarged windows for trips along the most worth seeing routes. Also being developed are such cars as "Gym," "Sleeping Car with Showers" of Comfort+ Class, "Karaoke Bar," "Sauna," "Spa" and "Puppet Theater." 

"We try to provide a level of comfort in our tourist trains in accordance with the latest world trends and expectations of our passengers", - notes Elena Rakova.

According to the press service of RZhD Tour, tourists are now offered several formats of travel arrangements to choose from. They can buy a comprehensive tour package, which includes train travel, sightseeing programs, transfers and meals in the cities where the train stops. Or an excursion package without the railway fare included. In addition, travelers who bought tickets for Russian Railways’ tourist trains on the website, can purchase excursion programs of the tour operator directly on the way.

Sergei Volkov

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