In 2015, the 150th anniversary of railway connection between France and Russia is celebrated. To mark the anniversary, Moscow – Nice train was considerably upgraded.
On January 24th the first newly refurbished train arrived in Nice. The train has RIC type carriages (Reglamento Internazionale delle Carrozze). New 1st class carriages contain 8 wide double-occupancy sleeping compartments (with two lower beds), 2nd class carriages have 8 wide quad-occupancy sleeping compartments (2 lower and 2 upper beds). Previously used carriages had narrow triple-occupancy compartments.
Every carriage now has a shower cabin; compartment doors are equipped with access control system (smart cards), peepholes and safety latches. Vestibule design allows easy access to all platform types, folding step helps to reach high platforms. Carriages are equipped with route panels and electronic boards indicating the carriage number.
Moscow - Nice train has been operating from September 23rd, 2010. Prior to this, there was train connection between Russia and the French Riviera only in tsarist Russia.
St. Petersburg - Nice train was launched in 1864, soon after Nice had been ceded to France. Travelling from Russia to French Riviera by train soon became so popular that it almost superseded travelling by sea. Russian trains were popular because of their comfortable and beautiful cars and high level of service. This train operated till 1914.
Today Moscow to Nice is one of the longest trans-European rail routes. Its length is 3 315 km. Train route passes through the territories of the eight countries: Russia, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Monaco and France.
Moscow - Nice train runs once a week. It departs from Moscow on Thursdays at 11:18 (Moscow time), arriving in Nice on Saturdays at 08:35 (local time). Travel time is 47 h 17 min. Departure from Nice is on Saturdays at 21:45 (local time) and arrival in Moscow is on Mondays at 22:30 (Moscow time). Travel time is 46 h 45 min.
The train’s maximum speed is 200 km/h for European gauge (1435 mm) and 160 km/h for Russian gauge (1520 mm).
On Belarus – Poland border the train wheels are changed to fit the different gauge.