Moscow to St. Petersburg Train Route

Most Moscow to St. Petersburg trains travel without stops. Long-distance trains coming from the South of Russia make up to 5-6 stops on Moscow to St. Petersburg leg. The most popular stops are Tver and Bologoye.

On the Moscow to St. Petersburg route, there is a huge variety of trains from which to choose. From 8-hour overnight trains to high-speed day trains, from the luxurious to the basic – you can always find a train that will suit your needs. The same trains run on the St. Petersburg to Moscow route. Electronic tickets are available on both routes, making your travel arrangements quick and easy. 

Distance
645 km

Up to 40 trains
per day

2-6 stops
on the way

Fastest train
3 h 30 min

Slowest train
10 h 22 min

Price from
21 USD

Moscow to St. Petersburg Timetable

00:20
8h 39m
08:59
price from $52
05:45
3h 30m
09:15
price from $30
06:50
3h 55m
10:45
price from $30
09:30
3h 50m
13:20
price from $40
11:30
3h 46m
15:16
price from $41
13:30
3h 55m
17:25
price from $31
15:21
6h 59m
22:20
price from $42
15:30
3h 46m
19:16
price from $30
15:40
4h 1m
19:41
price from $30
17:30
3h 46m
21:16
price from $47
17:40
3h 55m
21:35
price from $47
19:30
3h 55m
23:25
price from $49
19:40
3h 50m
23:25
price from $49
21:00
3h 35m
00:35
price from $52
21:50
8h 16m
06:06
price from $30
22:30
9h
08:30
price from $50
22:50
7h 40m
06:30
price from $39
23:14
7h 53m
07:07
price from $52
23:40
8h 56m
08:36
price from $50
23:55
3h 50m
07:55
price from $57
752А
05:45
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 30m
09:15
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
754А
06:50
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 55m
10:45
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
756А
07:00
Moscow Leningradsky
4h 4m
11:04
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
758А
09:30
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 50m
13:20
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
760А
09:40
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 50m
13:30
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
762А
11:30
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 46m
15:16
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
764А
11:40
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 46m
15:26
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
766А
13:30
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 55m
17:25
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
768А
15:30
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 46m
19:16
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
770А
15:40
Moscow Leningradsky
4h 1m
19:41
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
772А
17:30
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 46m
21:16
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
774А
17:40
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 55m
21:35
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
776А
19:30
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 55m
23:25
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
778А
19:40
Moscow Leningradsky
4h 4m
23:44
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
780А
21:00
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 35m
00:35
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
782А
21:00
Moscow Leningradsky
3h 42m
00:42
St. Peterburg Moscovsky

Moscow to St. Petersburg Train Tickets

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Frequently Asked Questions From Our Travelers

How long does it take by train to travel from Moscow to St Petersburg?

There are high speed and overnight trains available on this route. The fastest train called Sapsan takes 3.5 - 4 hours, regular overnight trains take 8 - 10 hours. There are several overnight trains offering different levels of comfort including the famous Grand Express and Red Arrow trains.

Which train stations serve the Sapsan train?

In St Petersburg, the Sapsan arrives and departs from Moscovsky Train Station, Nevsky Prospect 85, Metro Ploshad Vosstania. In Moscow, for all Sapsan trains running between Moscow and St Petersburg it is Leningradsky Train Station, located at Komsomolskaya Ploshad 3, Metro Komsomolskaya. Sapsan trains operating on the Nizhny Novgorod to St Petersburg route arrive and depart from Kursky Train Station, Zemlyanoi Val, 29, Metro Kurskaya.

How much luggage can I take on a Russian train?

Each 2nd and 3rd class passenger is allowed to bring up to 36 kg of hand luggage. 1st class passengers can carry up to 50 kg. The sum of the hand luggage's three dimensions should not exceed 180 cm. Children under 4 travelling on a free ticket (without a separate seat) are not granted a separate piece of luggage.

Is there WiFi on Russian trains?

In general, there is no WiFi on Russian trains except for the Sapsan train traveling between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

What is the best way to travel from Moscow to St Petersburg?

Though the price and time on board is almost the same when you travel by air or by train, traveling by a high speed Sapsan train is considered to be the most convenient and fastest way to travel from Moscow to St Petersburg. Train stations in both cities are in the city center so the travel time is significantly shorter when compared to traveling by plane which includes airport check-in and traveling to and from the airport. Another advantage to the train is that passengers can bring up to 36 kg of hand luggage without paying anything extra. Sapsan seats are much more comfortable than airplane seats and you can also enjoy a nice meal at a reasonable price on board.

Testimonials

History of the Moscow – St. Petersburg Railway

Where the Train Journey Begins

The journey from Moscow to St. Petersburg begins at what locals call the Three Station Square (officially Komsomolskaya Square). The clocks of Leningradsky, Yaroslavsky and Kazansky Stations all tower over the square. It’s hard to think of a place on earth that’s more infused with the spirit of railway adventure. There’s even a golden statue of the minister who constructed Russia’s first railways at the square’s center. In Russia, train stations are traditionally named after the largest city on their line.

Test your knowledge of Russian history: see if you can guess the name of the station heading the Moscow – St. Petersburg train line before reading on!

Those familiar with soviet history should have chosen Leningradsky Station. Early on in the USSR, Saint Petersburg was renamed Leningrad (Lenin’s city). Though the city's imperial name was eventually restored by the will of the people, the station’s name was never updated. Similarly, the official name of the Moscow-Saint Petersburg railway is still “Oktyabrskaya”, even though it was originally named "Nikolskoye” after the Tsar.

The style of the stations on Komsomolskaya square differ vastly, despite having all been built in the mid-19th century. Those heading to St. Petersburg needn’t worry about confusing Leningradsky station with the others, as it is the largest and grandest by far. The Oktyabrskaya line carries around 140 million passengers yearly with a record speed of 3.5 hours from end to end. Impressive; especially when compared to the original journey time of 22 hours!

Royal Beginnings

The Oktyabrskaya line exclusively carries passengers now. But, initially, it was built to replace cargo ships travelling between Russia’s two great cities. Back in Nikolai I’s rule, a forward-thinking German businessman named Franz Gerstner began badgering the Tsar with his grand idea to lay Russia’s first rail tracks from Saint Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod, via Moscow. By that time, Britain already had working railways and so, after a bit of persuasion, the Emperor set up a commission to consider Franz’s proposal.

The commission accused the plan of being too ambitious and self-centered. In return for the boundless profit promised, the German professor demanded the exclusive right to the construction of railways within the Russian empire for two decades. After months of deliberation, the project was not allowed to steam ahead. Instead of a thousand-kilometer line, Franz had to content himself with the construction of a 27km track from St. Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo which opened in 1837.

A couple years later, the Railways commission rejected yet another proposal from Melnikov, a talented Russian rail engineer who had been sent to study in the USA by the Emperor. Even the promise of speeds of up to 37km/h couldn’t allay their alarm at the 43 million rouble bill. Instead, they supported the creation of tracks for horse-drawn carriages which were cheaper and familiar (unlike railways which were viewed with suspicion at the time). This time, however, Emperor Nikolai simply overruled the government bureaucrats and signed a decree on the construction of the St. Petersburg - Moscow railway. The year was 1842. In under 10 years, a 644 km track connected Russia’s main cities.

Smooth runnings?

After a battalion of soldiers had been safely dispatched along the new railway line, the Tsar, his family and entire entourage ventured to take the train journey from Saint Petersburg to Moscow in the autumn of 1851.
A decade had not been sufficient to complete all the work. Temporary “gardens” were planted around stops on the track and well-dressed workers were ordered to stroll along the tracks in an attempt to distract the Tsar from the inadequacies. Nikolai I was not disappointed. But the same could not be said for the thousands of ordinary passengers who took their first train journey along these tracks.

Initially, the trains had no heating, no toilets and no enterprising babushkas selling pies. There were three classes, but the only defining feature of the blue, first-class carriages was slightly plumper seating. The journey took 22 hours at best. At worst, the trains could stop for 12 hours at a time. Oftentimes, passengers would trudge to the nearest village to avoid frostbite while the trains were repaired. Yet, compared to the poor souls who laboured on the tracks for 10 years before, they had it easy.

Did you know? It is thought that the following lines from Nekrasov’s poem “The Railway” were written about the construction of the Oktyabrskaya line:

Straight track: narrow embankment,
Poles, rails, bridges.
To both sides all those Russian bones…
How many of them? Vanyetchka, do you know?

Only one steam-excavation machine was used on a marginal fraction of the train tracks from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. The remaining 600+ kilometres were crafted entirely by human hands.

Triumphant finish

Each passing year, the trains became more reliable and the Oktyabrskaya railway grew in popularity. Before the end of the century, so-called “courier trains” were making the journey in 13 hours. By 1913, the fastest passenger trains were making it in 8 hours. The original series C steam locomotive which allowed for this achievement by reaching speeds of 100km/h can be seen at the Varshavsky Railway Station Museum in St Petersburg.

Not all of the Oktyabrskaya railway’s history lies in museums. You can still buy train tickets for an overnight train journey from Moscow to St. Petersburg on the famous “Red Arrow” which took its maiden voyage in 1931. Despite the name, its carriages were originally all blue as the train had been assembled from 1st class, Tsarist carriages. Startlingly, 1st class wasn’t luxe enough for the Soviet leadership and so the carriages were revamped to include a new class: SV.

The blockade of Leningrad during WWII put the progress of the Moscow-St Petersburg train line on pause but did no major damage. To this day, trains arriving from Moscow chug into the same, grand Moskovsky Railway Station in St Petersburg that Tsar Nikolai I departed from in 1851.

Once you have your tickets, look forward to a wonderful, smooth
and enjoyable journey through the Russian countryside.

Buy your ticket safely and securely and then sit back
and enjoy the ride!

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