The high-speed Sapsan train is Russia’s fastest, named after the world’s fastest bird - the peregrine falcon. Built by Siemens Transportation Systems, it is capable of speeds up to 250 km/h. The Sapsan operates on the Moscow to St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod routes. There are several trains daily; the trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg takes 4 hours. The train consists of 10 or 20 carriages of different classes: First class, Business class and Economy class.
Prices for all First and Business class seats include one hot meal, newspapers and magazines. There is also a conference cabin, a separate 4-seat cabin in the First class carriage. It can be purchased only in full (all 4 seats). The cabin can be used for business meetings. Price includes soft drinks and beverages.
First class seats are arranged in rows of three with an aisle down the middle. Each seat is equipped with a control panel to adjust its position and has an individual table, lamp and socket (220 V). A wide range of seat adjustments, lumbar support, wide armrests, headrest and comfortable support for the legs allow passengers to have a comfortable trip. Seats can be set in a supine position.
Business class seats are arranged in rows of four with an aisle down the middle. Each seat has an adjustable back rest and foot rest, individual lamp, 220V socket, and access to video and audio programs. Economy class seats are arranged in rows of four with an aisle down the middle. Each seat has an adjustable back rest, foot rest, individual lamp and access to audio and video programs.
Economy+ class tickets include meals. Passengers can also order hot meals from the bistro car (at extra charge).
Great website to book Russian trains
I was traveling from SPB to MOW on 12 Sept. Booked 2 tickets for Sapsan through Russianrail.com, the booking experience has been great and very very easy. Got our tickets the same day along with the choice of seats we had requested. Russian rail.com is highly recommended as they give out the best fares compared to other Russian train websites and every detail is in English. The website is very informative for first time Non Russian speaking travelers. Next visit is in May 2020 with family and I would gladly use Russianrail.com to book tickets from Kazan to to SPB....
Excellent service. It was easy to select and book online for the SAPSAN tickets from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
Overall this has been an amazing experience
Overall this has been an amazing experience. I appreciate the patience and professionalism. The culture in Russia is a beautiful thing. I would highly recommend this company and look forward an additional visit.
My experience with RussianRail.com was great
My experience with RussianRail.com was great. The system is user friendly and the communication thorough and frequent. The two Saspan train trips between Moscow and St. Petersburg were the best transport experiences of our three week long trip in Russia and the Caucasus. The tickets were excepted without any problems and the friendly, yet professional hostess could even assist us with some English. Truly a world class experience, thank you.
Totally seamless experience
Totally seamless experience. The Sapsan tickets arrived just as promised, and everything went perfectly on the train. Not much more you can ask for!
A repeat customer
I recently used Russian Rail for the third time and found the service to be excellent and exceptionally professional. At about the same time I made my reservations my son made reservations with a competing company. We made separate reservations since our start and stop dates of travel were different. The problems my son experienced are too numerous to detail in this space, but suffice it to say he had to eventually cancel with that company. His experience makes me especially appreciative of the service I have received with Russian Rail.
History of the Sapsan Train - Russia's First High-Speed Railway
Travelers in Russia who prioritize comfort and convenience know all about the Sapsan train service. Russia’s Sapsan train is the country’s first high-speed railway, and for many travelers, the most efficient way to move about. If you’ve ever had to travel by plane, you know the time commitment it takes to drive to the airport, wait in security lines, board the plane, wait some more, and then do the entire process again when you return home. Traveling by train, in comparison, is a breeze. Today’s modern trains have reclining seats, dinner service, and on-board conference rooms, which business travelers will surely enjoy.
Why the Name ‘Sapsan’
The developers of the Sapsan train are proud that they’ve created a high-speed train that travels up to 250 km/h. When settling on a name for their creation, they wanted one that conjured lightning fast speed and grace. Those that speak Russian will already know that ‘sapsan’ means ‘peregrine falcon’ in Russian. The peregrine falcon is, of course, the world’s fastest bird. What a perfect name for the train that takes passengers between Moscow and St. Petersburg in under four hours!
Photo by RZD.ru
When Did Sapsan Start?
Recognizing a need in the world’s largest country, in 2006 Siemens partnered with Russian Railways (RZD), to design and create a state-of-the-art, high-speed railway service that would serve Russia’s many travelers, and maintain a service standard similar to its European counterparts. On 7th May 2009, during the Sapsan train’s pilot journey, the crew reached a speed of 290 km/h - a new record for the fastest train in Russia! Shortly after that, in December 2009, Sapsan began passenger service between what’s now known as the Sapsan Moscow, Sapsan St. Petersburg line. It was no surprise that the train service between these two cities was widely popular. Today, Sapsan continues to increase the number of departures and returns to meet the growing demand of its customers.
Despite the train service being wildly popular, it has not been without controversy. Shortly after launching in 2009, more affordable daytime trains serving rural communities suffered, because they shared tracks with Sapsan trains. In addition to this, the sheer speed of the Sapsan train requires certain safety measures be taken when the train passes through cities and towns. To protect pedestrians and vehicles that may be near the tracks, train crossings must be closed 15 minutes prior to the train traveling through the intersection. These closings can disrupt traffic, and even hinder emergency service vehicles, if they must cross the tracks en route to a hospital, for example. To remedy this, and maintain the service routes, Sapsan has worked with local authorities to construct bridges and underpasses.
What About the Weather?
It’s not uncommon for train travel to be adversely impacted by weather conditions like rain and wind storms. Even things like fall tree leaves covering the tracks can create conditions that delay train travel. One bright spot, however, is that the Sapsan train has no problem running when Russia’s winter temperatures reach as low as -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit)! Sapsan ticket holders can rest assured cold weather should not disrupt service.
More Information on Sapsan Routes
Sapsan’s first train service, started in 2009, runs between St. Petersburg to Moscow via Tver. This journey typically takes about 3 hours 30 minutes. The second service, started in 2018, runs between St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod traveling through Moscow, Vladimir and the city of Dzerzhinsk. This trip is roughly 8 hours. Of course, travel times are dependent on the number of scheduled stops on the route.
The Sapsan St. Petersburg and Sapsan Moscow train stations are busy places. On a typical day, between 5:30am and 9pm, roughly 10 trains embark from Moskovsky Vokzal and Leningradsky Vokzal. The St Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod route, on the other hand, sees just one train per day traveling from St Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod and vice versa via Moscow’s Kursky Station. This train leaves St Petersburg at 5pm and Nizhny Novgorod at 5am.
Upgrading the Sapsan Experience
In December 2019, the decision was made to upgrade the Sapsan train experience. Travelers may now purchase Sapsan tickets for three new classes: Comfort Class, Family Class, and a Suite Cabin. These service and class upgrades are slowly being rolled out through the Sapsan fleet. All trains should be modernized by 2021. You can read more about these changes here.
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.