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In-Russia travel agent to purchase train tickets?

Bethesda MD
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1,730 posts
15 reviews
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In-Russia travel agent to purchase train tickets?

I'll be purchasing 12 train tickets for August 2013 travel (3 legs x 4 passengers; Moscow to Vladimir probably by Sapsan, Vladimir to SPb by overnight train, SPb to Moscow by Sapsan). I was planning to use the rzd official website and ebertsj's generous guide, but I've been reading here that U.S. credit cards currently aren't working on rzd. I'm willing to pay a markup for a third-party service but am hoping to avoid the 20%+ markup on the major resellers like Real Russia, especially given my planned volume purchase.

I read on a forum post here about 4 weeks ago of a small russian travel agency that would handle ticket purchases for a modest flat fee, something like $10 US per ticket. I can't find that post (I foolishly neglected to bookmark it), and it may have been deleted as self-promotion. Does anyone either recall that post or have a recommendation for a similar service? Svezhy Veter, maybe?

Or is there any new learning on payment methods that work on the rzd official website for those who, like me, have only U.S.-based credit cards? (I have an HSBC account and presumably could get a credit card from them; anyone know whether that bank's cards work on rzd?)

Moscow, Russia
Destination Expert
for Moscow
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3,246 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: In-Russia travel agent to purchase train tickets?

Try intourist.com - someone sait they sell at RZD prices - maybe your US card will work. Please share afterwards. RZD upgraded their website and has an English booking engine - maybe you try once again? Please share afterwards... Thanks!

Bethesda MD
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1,730 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: In-Russia travel agent to purchase train tickets?

Thanks. I will try Intourist if no better option appears by mid-June (45 days from the train travel). Unlike realrussia.co.uk and some other resellers, the Intourist website will not provide an estimated price more than 45 days ahead of travel. Their price on a date within 45 days from now and on the same day of the week does seem to be the rzd price (2455 Rubles for Train No. 59, overnight Vladimir-SpB, 2d Class). But I'd be happy to pay $100 or so to have someone handle the purchasing of all 12 tickets, if anyone has a suggestion for an agency that wiould do that.

Edited: 15 May 2013, 16:47
3. Re: In-Russia travel agent to purchase train tickets?

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