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
Great trip on board of Red Arrow train
Me and my wife spend some time in St Petersburg and then we planned to move to Moscow, We find out that there is a very comfortable train form St Petersburg to Moscow called Red Arrow. As our hotel was on Nevsky Prospect very close to St. Petersburg Moscovsky Railway Station it looked like it is an ideal and romantic way of traveling to Moscow and it was. We booked tickets online, we chose VIP 1st Class (compartment for 2 persons), very friendly website. Whole booking process took just few minutes. We arrived earlier to the station so we went to the business lounge which was just next to the platform from which the train was departing. The lounge itself was very clean and nice, with a free water coffee and tea. The train was amazing, very nice staff dressed in fashionable uniforms. Compartment was very comfortable with comfortable bed, private bathroom with shower cabin, hairdryer, free cosmetics bags like in a five-star hotel. Excellent food and service, simply it was wonderful trip. There is a song played during train departure from St Petersburg - "The Hymn to the Great City", we missed it because we started choosing meals we want for breakfast which we regret greatly. So, wait with any activity till the train departs, don’t miss the song.
I traveled between Moscow and and St.Petersburg on the 23.55 train. The greeting was warm and friendly,fruit and a toilet bag in the room.The beds were clean and confortable.The breakfast was great and plentiful.Buying tickets with the agency was easy and prompt. I was surprised to find out that even a taxi driver was waiting at the door of our compartment!Thank you for an impeccable service
Travelling cool Soviet style
What a fun way to travel between Moscow & St. Petersburg. Recommended by friends, we immediately booked a whole compartment for our family. Kids had lots of fun, super experience. The only thing, for people above 45 like myself, the beds could be a bit softer... Staff was very friendly and it felt like the old Soviet style (in a positive sense). Keep on the good work!
Overnight train from Moscow to Petersburg
The overnight train schedule from Moscow to St Petersburg is perfect, departing mid night and arrive at 8am in the morning. The 4 bed compartment is comfortable with lots of storage space for luggage. The beddings are clean and tidy. I had a really good night sleep in the train. There are two toilet in each car. The toilet size is reasonably big. The stewardess is very sincere and nice. Good value for money.
Solo female traveller on night train
I booked my ticket in advance fro Canada and was pleased to have it with me on my night train trip from St Petersberg to Moscow and back. The ticket you print out at home is ready to go and they also give you a translated itinerary in English which is very helpful. The night train experience was terrific. Clean and safe. I was in an all female cabin that was very comfortable. Yes it costs more to get the ticket in advance but I thought it was worth it.
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!
A portion of your order goes to helping underprivileged Russian children.