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Buy Ukraine train ticket on-line

Buy Ukraine train ticket on-line

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Holiday in Ukraine

Train Travel In Ukraine

 

Trains are Ukrainians' favored mode of long-distance transportation.

Prices are low, and sleeper cars make it possible to sleep at night in reasonable comfort. In addition to long-distance trains, there are short-distance "elektrichki" (electric) that connect regional capitals with outlying towns and villages. An overnight rail journey in Ukraine can be a fun and an adventure (especially if others travelling in your compartment befriend you and offer you vodka, which is known to happen!.)

 Ukrainian railway stations

 Large cities generally have two raiway stations located next to each other — one for long-distance trains ("вокзал" or "ж/д вокзал") and another for local electric trains ("пригородный вокзал" - Russ.; "приміський вокзал" - Ukr.).

 

Buying rail tickets

 Buying an Ukraine train ticket on-line was not possible until recently and if someone tells you differently do not believe them because myself and many others have already benefited from booking train tickets on-line to travel within Ukraine.

The process of booking a train ticket for travel in Ukraine is easy and you can do it from the comfort of your home and receive your E-Ticket in your email 'in box'. 

However if you are in Ukraine in many Cities there are railway ticket offices ("залізнична каса" - Ukr., "ж/д касса" - Russ.) scattered around town in addition to the main central train station ("вокзал" - Russ. and Ukr.) where you can buy train tickets (but not for "elektrichki"). You need ANY picture I.D. or passport to buy train tickets to destinations within Ukraine OR to board trains! But you can now buy E-Tickets for train travel in Ukraine on line and you will have to show I.D when exchanging this for your ‘normal ‘ ticket ‘

 Buy tickets ahead of time!

 You need to buy tickets in advance, because often they run out several days before departure. This is especially true of the summer months and weekends.

Ticket office hours

Be prepared for lines at the ticket office and waits of as much as 30 minutes. Some offices tend to be busier, others faster. Try going early in the morning to avoid a long queue. Usually even better is about half an hour after opening. Hours are typically 8 or 9 am to 7 pm with an hour-long lunch break from either 12 to 1 pm or 1 to 2 pm and two or more "technical breaks" of a 20-minute duration during the day. In Kiev and other big cities, expect ticket offices at the central train station to work round the clock. In all stations there is a 'special' service desk or office. Here you will pay an extra 'surcharge' for a ticket, but believe me the 1,50$ is worth paying to avoid the waiting

Here is what you'll need to tell the ticket lady (in Ukraine this is considered a woman's job):

* your destination

* the date of departure

* class of carriage (SV, kupé, or platzkart. Explanation's below)

* the number of passengers

* your preferred train number or time of departure, if necessary the same information for your return ticket!

You will be required to produce some form of Identification , normally a passport.

There are four classes of rail carriages in Ukraine today 

1st class, (SV), sleeper

 

This is the best type of carriages in Ukraine. Every carriage has 9 or 10 cabins, 2 berths in each cabin.

Beneath the lower berth(s) there is a box for luggage, which can accommodate 1-2 medium bags. 

 

Bigger storage for luggage is in the niche above the door. There is a small unfolding table by the window. Every cabin has a door lock and can be locked from inside. Each carriage has WCs with wash-stands, 2 per each carriage.

 1st class cabins are air-conditioned at the summer time. Air-conditioning is functioning while the train engine is working. Therefore it might be rather hot in the first hour or so of the trip and when the train is making stopovers.

One or two stewards serve every carriage. 

2nd class, (coupe), sleeper

 

2nd class is usually a quite acceptable type of carriage. The quality depends on the train as sometimes during the summer older carriages are used

Each carriage has 9 or 10 cabins, each cabin has 4 berths - 2 lower and 2 upper ones.

There are boxes for luggage below lower berths, with a bigger storage area for luggage in the niche above the door. There is a small unfolding table by the window. Every cabin has a door lock and can be locked from inside. 2nd class cabins in Express trains are usually air-conditioned but not always. Each carriage has WCs with washing-stands, 2 per each carriage. One or two stewards serve every carriage. 2nd class cabins in Express trains are usually air-conditioned but not always. Each carriage has WCs with washing-stands, 2 per each carriage. One or two stewards serve every carriage.

Platskartny" (3rd class) is an open-plan dormitory car for 54 people. There are 54 berths , arranged in bays of 6: 4 on one side of the aisle (seats # from 1 to 36) and two on the other side along the coach (seats # from 37 to 54). Very cheap, as long as you don't mind to socialize with people but not recommended by us

 

Reserved Seat Recently Ukraine has introduced 'high speed trains' on some of its routes and as such you can now purchase tickets for 'sitting' as opposed to sleeping. In my opinion this is OK for a train journey of 3-4 hours but an overnight train journey is another question.

Above a 'layout' of a typical "SV" and 2nd class, (kupé/coupe), carriage and below a video of typical Ukrainian train carriage

Which class should I get?

In my opinion, there is little difference in the "quality of sleep" between 1st and second class, both compartments are enclosed and usually comfortably air conditioned or heated and the bunks are the same length (about 190 cm). 3rd class is harder to sleep in since there is more noise from everyone else in the carriage, the lights are turned low but not completely off, the bunks are slightly shorter (about 180 cm), and there is no air conditioning (but there is heating)

While on board and travelling.

First of all don’t be late. You need to find the platform and the carriage to which you are assigned. At the door to the car an attendant (“provod’nik” -male, provod’nitsa - female) will check your ticket. About 20 - 30 minutes after departure the attendant will come around to take your ticket and to bring your bedding (two sheets, pillowcase and towel) if you travel “SV" first-class compartment you will find that the bed has already been made. 

You will be offered coffee or tea (you must pay but its is minimal) You can bring your own cup and a few bags of tea or coffee. Hot water is available for free in the boiler at the end of the corridor. Also pre buy food for the journey! 

Bring your own toilet paper, just in case there is none in the toilet. In fact I have never known there to be any, so you have been warned!

 It is also quite a common situation when people in your compartment invite you to join them for a meal.

Travelling by rail in Ukraine is secure, as long as you use the common sense that you would use anywhere when travelling! 

 Keep your luggage in a safe place under a bottom bunk. Keep money, documents and valuables on yourself. Try not to leave your compartment for a long time. Lock the compartment door during the night.

 You can also travel alone if you wish - just book a full compartment for your private usage. But it might be smarter to exchange some privacy for possible increased safety when there are other people in your compartment.

 Whichever way of travelling by rail you choose, try to accept it as a fun adventure. After a few journeys you will become an expert at Ukraine railway travel.

 My final advice is!

Buy tickets for the 1st and 2nd class cars only. This way you will avoid many problems and travel in comfort but enjoy the experience!

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