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“Train Journey to Remember”
Review of Red Arrow Express

Red Arrow Express
Ranked #53 of 391 Tours in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
Attraction details
Reviewed 28 August 2012

This mode of transport/attraction is worth having a go of if you’re travelling in Russia. The Red Arrow service is grand and elegant and the experience was well worth the £40. When the train pulls into the station the whole platform comes alive with Russian music being piped across the station to be greeted by very smart Red Arrow crew.

The interior is comfortable and clean and when comparing it to the bog standard other Russian sleeper trains the red Arrow is luxurious. The cabins are air conditioned with clean bedding sealed in bags; the beds are comfortable and spacious with more than enough room to store baggage and relax. The Red Arrow also has a lovely restaurant with bar however it is a little pricy but convenient and part of the luxury experience of a first class service. Wi-Fi is also onboard free of charge. Access for disabled people is available; however it may be a struggle for wheelchair users.

8  Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 - 43 of 118 reviews

Reviewed 15 August 2012

Like going back in time.
Brilliant experience not to be missed.
Train immaculate and staff friendly and helpful.
Felt absolutely safe and comfortable, even at the station at midnight.
Would definitely recommend it. Would have liked to see the countryside, but wouldnt have got the same atmosphere in the day time.
Our stewardess was lovely. Didn't speak much english but she got over the language barrier and really looked after us. Can't praise her or the whole experience enough.

4  Thank JillA46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012

Interesting train ride in a soviet way. Never travelled overnight on a train and did not know what to expect. We were in first class cabins – which means 2 to a cabin. Check-in was smooth and we proceeded to our cabin swiftly. Little English was being spoken. We were pleasantly surprised by the attention to details – we got clean linens, towels, an amenities bag with toothbrush etc. Our stewardess was helpful and came around to teach us how to convert the seats to a bed and also took the opportunity to take orders for our breakfast which was served about 1 hour before arrival in Moscow at 8am. You can also order food as we saw that they were serving plated entrees to other cabin guests. Common bathrooms were clean. Breakfast was alright and we did not finish it. The ride was relatively smooth although you can feel the turns and rumblings of the trains. Worth the experience!

3  Thank Meowmeow6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2011

My wife and I recently recently took the Red Arrow sleeper train from St Petersburg to Moscow. It's been in continuous operation since 1931, with the exception of the Leningrad siege from 1941-43, and was once the preferred means of travel for Communist party elites going between the two cities. The train leaves at midnight and arrives in Moscow station at 8 AM. We went 1st class which gets you a private compartment for 2, clean linen, an assortment of Russian magazines, and a very ordinary boxed meal for breakfast. Outside, the train is gorgeous with dark red cars set off by yellow lettering and pin stripes. They have their own theme music, "The Hymn of the Great City", which plays as you leave the station. Inside, the service was brusque but efficient in the old Soviet style, and the shared bathrooms were clean. I had difficulty sleeping on the trip and did not arrive in Moscow feeling particularly refreshed. It was fascinating thinking about the history of the train and what must have gone on in these cars over the past 80 years. I'm glad I went on a one time basis, but if your goal is to go from Point A to Point B as efficiently as possible, the airplane or the high speed Sapsan electric train which covers the same distance in 4 hours would be better choices.
One caveat about food and beverage service. Shortly after boarding the train, we were asked by the steward if we would like a bottle of wine. I did not know if this was covered by the approximately $600 per person train fare, but decided to go ahead in any event. At the steward's suggestion, we also ordered a cheese plate. He returned with two bottles of French red wine, neither of which I recognized, and I selected one at random. After enjoying
several glasses of pleasant but not memorable wine and a nice selection of cheeses, we were presented with a bill for $350, payable in cash only, no credit cards. Dumb of me not to have inquired about the cost before hand, but also a bit sneaky on the part of the steward for taking advantage of naive tourists. Be forewarned!

9  Thank ApacheTrout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2010

We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teenagers and decided to treat ourselves to this icon of Russian history.
We paid £650 for 4 of us to travel First Class. Our 2 teenage boys wanted their own compartment and we decided to " go for it "
Classical music was being played as we boarded the train and we all thought wow this could be amazing. We were met by a stern looking woman who was in charge of our carriage.
We boarded train, opened the door of compartment and still thought wow. Then proceeded to sit down on what can only be described as a board for a seat which changed to a board for a bed.
A man came round trying to sell vastly overpriced juice, coke and vodka.
Our lady attendant would not allow us out of our carriage to have a walk around the train.
We then chose our breakfast which was terrible to say the least. If we wanted coffee we had to pay for it other than the one packet of nescafe in our breakfast tetra pak. The woman came round and showed us how to put the bed down and where the bedding was. She then went to sleep for the night.
You may think I was expecting too much and did not understand the history of this train but I did. I was not expecting the Orient Express but I was expecting a reasonable standard of service which we did not get.
We are a family who could afford the experience but I truly wish we would have just booked seats on an overnight train and caught up with sleep once we got to Moscow. I feel cheated and have wasted a great deal of moneu unnecessarily. Russia has been a hugely expensive experience for the four of us and this has just made it a million times worse.

3  Thank gillykLiverpool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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