every day

Travel time
8 hours

650 km

at night

The Red Arrow (Krasnaya Strela), launched in 1931, is the oldest and most famous Russian train. The train is famous for shuttling the communist elite between Leningrad and Moscow in Soviet times.  Today, it is still one of the most popular and modern trains operating between Moscow and St. Petersburg.  The train runs daily and has a maximum speed of 160 km/h without any stops. Travel time between St. Petersburg and Moscow is 8 hours.

The train has a VIP first-class car, 9 regular first-class cars and five second-class carriages.  There is also a very nice dining car that serves good meals.  The staff car has a cabin for disabled passengers and the people accompanying them.

First-class cabins have two lower berths. The ticket price includes bedlinen, magazines and a hot meal. VIP first-class cabins include the same services as regular first-class, however, they also have a private shower and WC, sleeping berths are arranged one above the other.

Second-class cabins are equipped for 4 people.  They have two upper and two lower berths. The ticket price includes bedlinen, magazines and a lunch box


Moscow Leningradsky
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
St. Peterburg Moscovsky
Moscow Leningradsky

Red Arrow train

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History of the Red Arrow Train

In the twilight years of Imperial Russia, the country’s rail network was flourishing. Trains travelled far and wide, from the Baltic provinces to the Far East, from Central Asia to the frozen Barents Sea, and some were equipped with luxury carriages and restaurants.

Following the October Revolution and Civil War, Russia was left in tatters and its railway network was too. Railway lines and rolling stock were destroyed and those which did run were slow, late and operated by incompetent staff – hardly the image of modernity that the Soviet authorities wanted to project.

The grand launch of the Red Arrow train (Krasnaya Strela) on 9th June 1931 provided a first glimmer of pride for the Soviet railway network. It was the first luxury sleeper service in the USSR: first class carriages; elegant decoration with lamps and mirrors; board games for passengers; a restaurant car where passengers could enjoy fresh hot meals; and even an on-board telephone. Travelling at an average speed of 70 km/h, the train made the journey between Moscow and St Petersburg in less than 10 hours – a true feat.

Did you know? The carriages of the Red Arrow were actually dark blue until 1961, when they were finally painted in their distinctive red colour!

The Red Arrow, its name symbolising the color of revolution, was a celebration of the Soviet state’s modernity and industrialisation. However, as with many things in the Soviet Union, the luxuries of the Red Arrow train did not extend to the masses. It was primarily the official method of transport to shuttle the party elite between Leningrad and Moscow, as well as for foreign guests who were visiting the wonders of the capitals.

The Red Arrow service was only interrupted once in its 90-year history: from 1941 – 1943 during the Second World War. The trains were hidden away in Leningrad during the blockade and were restored to their former beauty at the end of 1943 – this included the precious decorations which had also been stored away at the outbreak of war. The first train left Leningrad on 20th March 1944, with an anti-aircraft gun attached to its rear and with a doctor and soldiers on board.

Did you know? The Red Arrow transported the Olympic Flame during the 1980 Olympic Games.

Over the decades the Red Arrow has been continually updated with the latest carriages, locomotives and amenities. However, some things have not changed. The length of the journey has never been shortened beyond 8 hours, as this allows passengers plenty of time to rest on their overnight trip, and the departure time has always remained at 23:55. The Red Arrow has retained much of its historical atmosphere – from elegant interiors decorated with natural wood and rich red fabrics, to the historical songs played upon departure – and this is one reason why the Red Arrow is Russia’s famous train.

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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