The Lev Tolstoy train is an overnight train running between Moscow and Helsinki with a stop in Saint Petersburg. It is named in honor of a famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. The train has been operating since 1975 and today runs every day except Saturdays. The train covers 1082 km in 14-15 hours; it travels between Moscow and St. Petersburg overnight and then runs through Finland during the daytime.
The train has VIP 1st, Regular 1st and 2nd class cabins. In 2014, regular 1st class and 2nd class carriages were replaced with new ones. VIP 1st class compartments are equipped with a private shower and toilet, TV, DVD, individual air-conditioning and 220V sockets. The lower berth is 110 cm wide and the upper berth is 70 cm wide. Only the entire compartment can be booked. Hygiene kits and meals are included in VIP 1st class and regular 1st class tickets.
The first class compartment has two lower berths. The cabin has individual air-conditioning and 220V sockets, and each berth has individual lightning. There are 2 WCs and one shower per carriage.
Second class compartments have two lower, two upper berths and a table. Luggage can be placed above the upper and below the lower berths.
The train also has a nice dining car designed with an atmosphere of the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Leo Tolstoy lived and worked. Passengers of the Lev Tolstoy train can arrange to transport their cars in a specialized vehicle carriage. Tax Free Refund service is available on board.
Smooth way to go to Moscow
Helsinki - Moscow on first class. I can highly recommend to approach Moscow by train from Helsinki. Excellent boarding and on-board service. Enjoy the view and share food and drinks while you ride towards this great metropolis.Next time I will do exactly the same !
Excellent experience - MUCH better than flying!
We took a train from Helsinki & St. Petersburg - Moscow round trip. Easy to book online (we did it from Portland, Oregon USA. The service was great, on time and organized. We had print-outs of our tickets from home, but didn't use them as everything was done with our passport.
History of the Lev Tolstoy Train
Although Finland to Russia trains have been running since 1870, the Moscow to Helsinki train service was not established until 1954! At first, this was a fairly basic train which did not even run direct between Moscow and Helsinki: as the railways from Helsinki to Leningrad and Moscow to Leningrad terminated at different stations, the carriages had to be uncoupled and shuttled to a different station before continuing on their journey.
The direct train from Helsinki to Moscow, which would later be called the Lev Tolstoy train, was first launched on 30th May 1975. It was a fancier, branded train which had a smart restaurant car and 1st class sleeping cabins, and was the first overnight train to reach speeds of 120 km. What’s more, it ran straight between the two capitals, stopping at the Ruchyi station in Leningrad’s Soviet outskirts instead of detouring via the central terminals. While the Moscow-Helsinki train was named after Lev Tolstoy, its Leningrad-Helsinki counterpart was named after famous artist Ilya Repin.
Did you know? For a couple of months in 2017, the Lev Tolstoy had a public library on board, so passengers could get acquainted with the literature of Finland and Russia and enjoy some leisurely reading while they travelled. This was part of the centenary celebrations of Finnish independence.
The Lev Tolstoy train still serves the Moscow to Helsinki route today, via St Petersburg’s Ladozhsky Station, and it was fully renovated in 2014 with Austrian-built carriages. Although the Lev Tolstoy isn’t the quickest train between Finland and Russia (the top spot is held by the high-speed Allegro), it’s not all about the destination but the journey too. Travelling on the Lev Tolstoy offers passengers the special night train experience of bedding down in one country and waking up in another. Besides, what the journey lacks in speed it makes up for in comfort and convenience! VIP carriages, a 19th-century inspired restaurant car, complimentary meals, a souvenir store, and on-board border control and currency exchange are some of the amenities and services you can expect on board.
Did you know? Passengers who are travelling on to Helsinki Vantaa Airport from the Lev Tolstoy train are entitled to a free journey, if they travel within 80 minutes of the train’s arrival (this is also the case if you arrive at the airport and are going directly to your Lev Tolstoy departure).
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!
A portion of your order goes to helping underprivileged Russian children.