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Review of Red Arrow Express

Red Arrow Express
Ranked #59 of 385 Tours in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
Attraction details
Reviewed 9 May 2014

I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to trains, and this is one of the best. Although the style was uniquely Russian 1960s the train was the most immaculate and comfortable I've ridden. If you enjoy rail travel, especially if you're a party of 4 and can reserve your own cabin, it's an experience not to be missed, best possible way of travelling between St. Petersburg and Moscow.

3  Thank Nathaniel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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34 - 38 of 116 reviews

Reviewed 7 February 2014

I recently went to St. Petersburg, Russia, and wanted to see Moscow too, as I was already on that side of the world, but I didn't want the hassle of booking a hotel room, so I browsed the sleeper trains and found the Red Arrow Express - it's a beautiful, shining red train with interior decor reminiscent of times gone by. I really felt special riding on this train that was the main transport for Communist Party leaders between St. Petersburg and Moscow. On a practical note, it was extremely comfortable, even in a second class bunk - and I was glad to have picked a lower bunk cos there are no ladders for getting up to the upper one! I did wonder why the attendant asked me to get up from lying down, until I saw her lower the fold-up mattress!! Don't worry about getting cold on this train - you could sleep naked and still be fine. The 4-bunk room I was in was mixed gender, but no problem - the men were most polite. There was free breakfast in the morning - if you want a 2nd cup of coffee you do have to pay, though. Very enjoyable trip and punctual. You arrive right at the Metro station, so you hop on that and go directly to Red Square.

6  Thank Margaret B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2013

When arranging our trip to Moscow and St Petersburg as independent travellers not attached to a Tour Group, we (four of us) decided to take the overnight train, for the experience and to save the cost of an hotel. We had read that some websites and travel agents add considerably to the train ticket price, so we followed a guide on Trip Advisor to the booking process on the Russian Trains website RZD.RU. The English-language version of RZD.RU doesn't let you book tickets. The guide helped me through most of the pages of the process, and when I found the website sometimes deviated from the guide, I copied and pasted text into Google translate, and managed to book our electronic tickets. You get to choose the actual wagon and berth, as well as the train and ticket-class. There seem to be at least eight ovenight trains to choose from. We chose one arriving approx 08:00, which was the Krasnaya Strela, and cost £230 for the four of us. You don't get an actual ticket, but your names go on a list that the train operators will have on the day - fingers crossed! We booked about 4 weeks in advance and I noticed that almost half of the berths were already booked.
When it came time to find our train on the night, this was a little confusing as the Metro Komsomolskaya serves three railway stations. The St Petersburg trains leave from Leningradsky Station, not from Yaroslavsky which is adjacent to it, and not from Kazansky which is across a busy road. Anyway, we found our train on the departures board, made our way to the platform and up to our wagon - no ticket check so far. Each wagon of the Red Arrow appears to have two smart grey-uniformed hostesses. I presented our passports to our wagon's hostess, she consulted her printed list, and hey presto! Our electronic booking had worked and we were allowed on to the train.
We got to our compartment and immediately set about figuring out how to set up the berths and fold down the little ladder for the top berth. Then explored the little toilet cubicles at the ends of the wagon. The toilet was tiny but adequate, and clean. We didn't attempt to obtain tea or coffee, and I don't recall seeing any on sale either. I half-expected to see a babushka supervising a samovar at the end of the carriage, but maybe that was just in 'From Russia With Love'. They provide a towel and travel pack with earplugs, toothbrush, a cute little tube of toothpaste, a refresher wipe etc (I didn't find mine till the next morning).
The train set off on time and trundled on through the night fairly slowly it seemed. By approx 07:00 the next morning we were still travelling through woodland, when the hostesses started waking everyone up and distributing breakfast-in-a-box. Breakfast was bread, biscuits, butter, cold meat & salad, yoghurt & water. Quite like an airline meal, and of decent quality and quantity. We had not expected breakfast - if we had known, then we would not have purchased snacks before the journey. Arriving at the station in St P felt special, as they played a musical fanfare for the train's arrival.

17  Thank WalkerTalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

We took the train from Mowcow to St. Petersburg. It wasn't easy to book the tickets...we tried to book first clase about 2 months ahead (through the website) and then we realized we actually didn't book them. By that time, first class tickets were not available so we took second class (first class: 2 beds per canine, second class: 4 beds per cabin). Price was € 228 for both.
It was not in easy to get to the station in Moscow: language first barrier, there are 2 different stations very close, and third due to construction site, the station is a little hidden. Hint here is to get there at least one one before departure, to make sure you find the proper station and the train.
The train itself is very good, and the second class was perfectly fine. Our cabin-mates were 2 older Russian people. Ther trip was good, I could slept 7 hrs straight....and we had dinner in the dinner wagon, with several choices to eat and drink.
Overall, a very good experience. It seem a bit expensive at a first sight, but considering it saves you one hotel night and the flight tickets, I think it's definitely worth.

3  Thank CeciliaDF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2013

Booked a return ticket for Moscow and St Petersburg.
It was our first time taking over night train, we were absolutely excited. When the train arrived at the platform, russian music is played, so when you walk to your cart, you feel like you are a VIP.
The interior is elegant, bedding and rooms are clean, yummy breakfast provided. Most importantly, it is very safe (this is the most luxurious overnight train according to russian locals, so taking this train means you need to have ample money, I believe no one would come stealing your money :) so you are safe)
It was an absolute interesting and unforgettable experience.

2  Thank Betty L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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