Trans-Siberian Train, Singapore to Paris

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How to travel overland between Europe & China or Japan...

A journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway should be on everyone's bucket list.  It's safe, comfortable & affordable.  On this page I'll explain the routes, trains, classes, prices, answer your questions, and help you plan & book your trip.  Page last updated March 2022

IMPORTANT UPDATE 2024:  All international Trans-Siberian trains between Russia & China have been suspended since February 2020, originally due to Covid-19.  They remain suspended until further notice, although a weekly Irkutsk-Ulan Bator train resumed in late 2022.  All international trains between western Europe & Russia are suspended because of the war in Ukraine and sanctions.  Russian domestic trains are running including Moscow-Vladivostok.  However, the Foreign Office advises against all travel to Russia because of the war, see www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia.  I have left this page as was pre-pandemic, but various companies including Real Russia may no longer be trading.

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Train 4, the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Mongolian Express.  4,735 miles, 3 countries, 6 days...
Train 2 Rossiya, on its 7-day 5,752-mile journey from Moscow to Vladivostok.  The cars are now in RZD Russian Railways corporate red & grey, no longer red, white & blue.  Photo courtesy of Nicholas Stone.

Trans-Siberian trains, fares, tickets

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Connecting trains & ferries

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What is the Trans-Siberian Railway?

The Trans-Siberian Railway is just one part of the massive Russian railway network, transporting passengers and freight safely at affordable prices.  It connects the European rail network at one end with either Vladivostok or the Chinese rail network at the other.  Take a look at the route map below to see where the Trans-Siberian Railway goes.  You can use it to travel overland in either direction between London, Paris or anywhere in Europe and China, Japan, Korea or even Southeast Asia...

Interactive mapTrans-Siberian, Trans-Mongolian, Trans-Manchurian

Showing connecting trains & ferries.  Click on a route to see train times, fares & information.

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There's also a less well-travelled route to China via Kazakhstan, sometimes known as the Silk Route, for details click here.

An overview of the 3 routes

Moscow to Vladivostok:  Every day, the Rossiya (the Russia, train number 2 eastbound, train 1 westbound) leaves Moscow on its 9,259 km (5,752 mile) journey to Vladivostok, taking 8 nights/7 days.  In addition, 3 times a week you'll also find un-named train 61 westbound & 62 eastbound which link Moscow with Vladivostok with fewer stops in just 7 nights/6 days.  This is almost the longest train ride of them all, 9,259 km or 5,752 miles.  Trains 1/2 & 61/62 have 2nd class 4-berth compartments called kupé, open-plan bunks called platskartny & a restaurant car, see the photos below.  There are no longer any 2-berth spalny vagon sleepers on these trains, at least not at the moment, but if you like you can pay for 4 tickets to get sole occupancy of a 4-berth sleeper for one, two or three people.  These trains now have dynamic pricing, one-way fares from Moscow to Vladivostok start at around 11,500 rubles ($170 or £140) in kupé with a bed in a 4-berth sleeper, more if booked through an agency.  See a brief account of the journey.  There is a weekly ferry from Vladivostok to South Korea & Japan taking 2 nights & 1 day, although this was discontinued in February 2020, it has been resurrected by another company using the same ship, and should start taking passengers when borders reopen after the pandemic.

Two routes to China:  Although the main Trans-Siberian line runs from Moscow to Vladivostok, most western travellers head for China on one of two branches, the Trans-Mongolian line (completed in the 1950s) or the Trans-Manchurian line (built around 1900), see the route map.  There are two direct trains each week between Moscow & Beijing, train 3/4 via Mongolia using Chinese coaches and train 19/20 Vostok via Manchuria using Russian coaches.

Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia:  This is arguably the most interesting Trans-Siberian route to take.  The weekly Trans-Mongolian train (train 4 eastbound, train 3 westbound) leaves Moscow for Beijing every Tuesday night.  The 7,621 km (4,735 mile) journey takes 6 nights.  This train crosses Siberia, cuts across Mongolia and the Gobi desert, then enters China.  Westbound, it leaves Beijing every Wednesday morning.  This train uses Chinese rolling stock and has deluxe 2-berth compartments (with shared shower), 1st class 4-berth compartments & 2nd class 4-berth compartments.  Booked through a local Russian agency, journey costs around $805 or £555 one-way in 2nd class 4-berth or $1130 or £780 in 1st class 2-berth.  See an illustrated account of the journey.

Moscow to Beijing via Manchuria: The weekly Trans-Manchurian train (the Vostok, train 20 eastbound, train 19 westbound, using Russian rolling stock) leaves Moscow on Saturday nights for Beijing via Manchuria, taking just over six days to cover the 8,986km (5,623 miles).  Westbound, it leaves Beijing every Saturday night.  There are 2-berth 1st class compartments (spalny vagon) and 4-berth 2nd class compartments (kupé).  Prices are similar to the Chinese train.

Other Trans-Siberian trains:  These aren't the only Trans-Siberian trains.  Far from it!  Many other trains run over parts of these routes.  There's even a slightly slower Moscow-Vladivostok train, train 100 taking 7 nights instead of 6...  See the Trans-Siberian timetable below.

Planning your trip

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Train 2, the Rossiya from Moscow to Vladivostok,  6,152 miles in 8 nights.  Train 62 does the same run in 7 nights  Photo courtesy of Hubert Horan
Train 4 from Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia. Courtesy of Tony Willis
Train 20, the Vostok from Moscow to Beijing the weekly Russian Trans-Manchurian train.  This train too is now appearing in corporate RZD grey and red! 6 days, 5,623 miles... Photo courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.
Train 6 from Moscow to Ulan Bator, freshly re-equipped with modern air-conditioned Mongolian Railways cars in 2017, similar to the cars now used on the Rossiya.  Note the galloping horses logo!  The thrice-weekly Irkutsk-Ulan Bator version of train 6 uses modern Russian Railways cars.  Photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.
Recommended guidebooks... The kilometre-by-kilometre guide in Bryn Thomas' Trans-Siberian Handbook makes it particularly useful...

1. When to go? Eastbound or westbound? Is it safe?

Yes, the Trans-Siberian is perfectly safe, even for families or solo females.  It's the way Russian families and women travel, after all.

You can go at any time of year as the Trans-Siberian Railway operates all year round.  Naturally, the summer months from May to September have the best weather and the longest daylight hours so are the most popular.  In winter it's easier to get tickets, the trains are warmly heated and the Siberian landscape beautiful in the snow, but the hours of daylight will be shorter and stretching your legs at stations or visiting the cities will be chillier.  In many ways it's the slushy thaw around April that's least attractive.

On board the trains, Kupé 4-berth sleepers (2nd class) is the usual comfortable choice for most westerners.  2-berth Spalny Vagon (1st class) is now quite rare, but you can pay for 4 tickets in kupé to get sole occupancy or a 4-berth compartment if you like.

You can travel the Trans-Siberian Railway either eastbound or westbound, it's up to you, although eastbound tends to be more popular with westerners, perhaps because going out by rail from your local station and flying back is more romantic than starting your trip with a flight.  On this page I cover both directions, remember that any comments written from an eastbound perspective usually apply westbound too!

2. Decide on your route & final destination

The Trans-Siberian Railway doesn't just go to Vladivostok.  It links Europe with China, Japan, Korea, even Vietnam and South East Asia.  How about  going to Beijing?  Shanghai?  Hong Kong?  Tokyo?  Tibet?  See the Trans-Siberian route map to open your mind to all the possibilities which the Trans-Siberian Railway offers.  You can even reach Hanoi, Saigon, Bangkok or Singapore overland from London.

Vladivostok is an interesting place for a day or two if you're passing through before catching the ferry to Japan or Korea, but probably not worth a 7 day journey from Moscow just for its own sake.  Beijing is a far better choice of destination as it's an absolutely amazing city that's well worth the overland trip from Europe.

The Trans-Mongolian is easily the most interesting of the three routes, even though it means an extra visa, there are superb views of the Gobi desert and a chance to stop off in Mongolia on the way.

But why end your trip in Beijing?  Shanghai or Xian are just a few hours high-speed train ride away.  There are trains from Beijing to Hong Kong. How about Japan?  There are ferries from Shanghai to Osaka.  There's even a twice-weekly direct train from Beijing to Hanoi in Vietnam taking 2 nights, 1 day (see the Vietnam page), then you can take daily trains to Saigon, a bus to Phnom Penh and on to Bangkok, then a train to Malaysia & Singapore, see the Cambodia & Thailand pages.

3. Do you want to stop off?

You cannot buy an open ticket and hop on and off, as the Trans-Siberian is an all-reserved long-distance railway where everyone gets their own sleeping-berth and every ticket comes printed with a specific date, train number, car & berth number.  However, you can easily arrange stopovers along the way using a separate ticket for each train, easily pre-booked especially if you use the Trans-Siberian Trip Planner.

The varied scenery and camaraderie on board the direct Moscow-Beijing trains makes non-stop travel on these trains an enjoyable option and maximises your time in China.  On the other hand, travelling to Vladivostok non-stop in 7 days can be tedious (I should know) and it's better the break up the journey and see something of Siberia.  And even if you're heading for China, there's lots worth stopping off for on the way if you have time.

The obvious stopovers are Irkutsk in Siberia for Lake Baikal and Ulan Bator in Mongolia, for a side trip into the Gobi desert.  If you have more time, Ekaterinberg & Ulan Ude are also worth a stop.

To help decide where to stop off, buy a copy of Bryn Thomas' excellent Trans-Siberian Handbook, with journey planning information, town guides, the history of the line, and best of all, a mile-by-mile guide to the sights you can see from the train, which really helps you get the most from the trip. The Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Railways guide is also good.

Most western travellers pre-book all their tickets, but if you have lots of time and are determined to stay flexible and buy tickets at stations as you go, read this section about buying tickets at the station.

4. Plan your Trans-Siberian trains

There is no such train as the Trans-Siberian Express but a whole range of trains across Siberia, including countless Russian domestic trains plus a handful of direct international trains to Mongolia and China.  Plan your trains using the Trans-Siberian timetable below or the Trans-Siberian trip planner.  Within Russia, there are both faster quality trains & slower cheaper trains, it's your call which you take.

So for example, if you chose to travel from Moscow to Beijing straight through without stopovers, you'd obviously book one of the weekly direct Moscow-Beijing trains, trains 4 or 20.  But if, say, you wanted to go from Moscow to Beijing with stopovers at Irkutsk and Ulan Bator, you might first take any regular daily Russian domestic train from Moscow to Irkutsk, and it might be nice to ride the Moscow-Vladivostok Rossiya for this bit unless a cheaper ticket for a slower lower-quality train better suited your budget.  Then you might take train 6 from Irkutsk to Ulan Bator 4 times a week, as this is easier to get berths on and more frequent than waiting for weekly train 4.  Then you might pick up trains 4 or 24 from Ulan Bator to Beijing.  Browse the Trans-Siberian timetable or use the Trans-Siberian trip planner.

5. How much will it cost? How long does it take?

To give you a rough idea, the cheapest trip put together yourself would include a Moscow-Beijing 2nd class train ticket from around £442 or $590, plus a London-Moscow train ticket for around £200.  You'll also need at least 1 night in a hotel in Moscow, and of course you need to budget for visas for Russia, China and possibly Mongolia and Belarus, plus travel insurance.  But it all depends on what you want to do, and how economically or luxuriously you want to travel.

Fares are shown in the fares section below, although what you actually pay depends on how you buy your tickets as the various booking agencies add differing mark-ups.  You can use the Real Russia Trans-Siberian trip planner to get a good idea of cost including stopovers.

In terms of time, London to Beijing with a one day stopover in Moscow takes around 10 days, London to Beijing with 2-days in Irkutsk and 3 days in Ulan Bator in Mongolia would take 15 days.  London to Tokyo or Hanoi with stopovers in Moscow and Vladivostok takes about 14 days.  You could reach Bangkok in around 20 days.  But where and how long you stop off is up to you.  I suggest sketching out an itinerary and budget using the method explained on the How to plan an itinerary & budget page.

Expert personal trip planning & advice: DiscoverByRail.com

If you want to pay an expert to put an itinerary together for you and advise you on how to book it, Andy at DiscoverByRail.com provides a 'travel architect' service, with suggestions for routes, trains, stopovers, hotels to your own specification, and advice on getting visas.  He charges a fee of around £45 per trip.

Booking your trip

Step 1, buy your Trans-Siberian train tickets

  • When you have planned your journey, the first thing to arrange are your Trans-Siberian train tickets. There are several ways to buy tickets, some cheaper but more effort, others easier but more expensive. See the how to buy tickets section below for an explanation of all the options, but I'd recommend the Real Russia Trans-Siberian trip planner as arguably the best compromise between cheapness & simplicity for arranging your tickets.

Step 2, book connecting trains, ferries & flights

Step 3, book your hotels

  • To find & book hotels in Moscow, Beijing, Vladivostok or in cities along the way, I usually use www.booking.com, as you can usually book their hotels with free cancellation, so you can safely book your accommodation as soon as you decide on your travel dates without any risk of losing money, before confirming your train tickets or visas. Any hotel with a review score over 8.0 will usually be great.

Step 4, arrange your visas

Step 5, book your train from London to Moscow

  • Finally, arrange travel from London to Moscow to connect with the Trans-Siberian, see the London to Russia page. You can also travel to Moscow by direct sleeping-car from Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Helsinki and many other places, to find train times, use int.bahn.de. Bookings for European trains typically open 3 months before departure, you can't book until reservations open, so do this bit last.

Step 6, don't forget insurance

  • Remember to take out travel insurance, ideally immediately after you've booked the first part of the trip, as cancellation cover starts as soon as you buy the insurance. You might also want to get a VPN for safe browsing on public WiFi during your travels, and perhaps a Curve card to save on exchange rates & foreign transaction fees. See the section on insurance, Curve card & VPNs.

Don't fly to Moscow!

Flying to Moscow to pick up the Trans-Siberian Railway is like entering a marathon and then accepting a lift in someone's car for the first hundred yards...  Don't cheat!  If you're going to go overland to the Far East, do it properly, starting at London St Pancras and staying firmly on the ground.  It's easy to travel from London to Moscow by train, click here for train times, fares & how to buy tickets.  How about starting your Trans-Siberian trip with Eurostar from London to Paris and then a ride on the excellent Paris-Moscow Express?

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The Paris to Moscow express about to leave Paris Gare de l'Est, see the Paris-Moscow Express page Russian Railways run direct trains to Moscow from Paris weekly, from Berlin 3 weekly, and from Warsaw, Prague, Helsinki every day...

What are the trains like?

The Trans-Siberian Railway is a regular railway, a means of transport vital to the people living along it.  It's not run for tourists, so you won't find bar cars with pianos or deluxe suites with en suite showers (although one or two tourist cruise trains now operate on the Trans-Siberian from time to time, details here).  However, all passengers get a proper flat berth to sleep in, provided with all necessary bedding, convertible to a seat for day use.  There are washrooms and toilets along the corridor, and a restaurant car for meals.  Whichever train you take, the Trans-Siberian is a safe and comfortable way to reach China and the Far East.  You'll find more details about food, showers & toilets in the Travel tips & FAQ section.

A request:  If you get any good current interior or exterior photos to illustrate trains 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 56, 61/62, 305/306, 23/24, please let me know!

Trains 1 & 2, the Moscow to Vladivostok Rossiya

The famous Rossiya (the Russia) runs from Moscow to Vladivostok every day all year round, 9,259 km (5,752 miles) in 8 nights.  It has 2nd class 4-berth 2nd sleepers (called kupé), 3rd class open-plan sleeper bunks (called platskartny) and a restaurant car.  There are no longer any 1st class 2-berth sleepers (called SV or spalny vagon), at least not at the moment, but you can pay for 4 tickets in kupé to get sole occupancy of a 4-berth compartment for 1, 2 or 3 people.

It's a very comfortable train, re-equipped with the latest air-conditioned sleeping-cars in July 2020 featuring power sockets & USB ports for every passenger, a mini-combination safe for valuables for each passenger and a hot shower in each car.  The bunks convert to seats for daytime use.  There are toilets & washrooms at the end of the corridor, room for luggage under the lower berths and above the door to the corridor.  Compartment doors lock securely from the inside.  The new cars are shown here:  www.tvz.ru/catalog/passenger/item_detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=1374.

Changes in July 2020:  Train 1/2 Rossiya has always been the fastest train between Moscow & Vladivostok, taking 7 nights.  Until July 2020 it only ran every two days and there was a second slower train between Moscow & Vladivostok, train 99/100 leaving every day, making around 70 more station stops than the Rossiya and taking 8 nights.  Train 99/100 was gradually re-equipped with the very latest cars, and from 9 July 2020 this slower train 99/100 was renumbered 1/2 and became the Rossiya, whilst the former faster train 1/2 was renumbered 61/62.

So travellers now have a choice between riding the famous Rossiya, train 1 westbound & train 2 eastbound with daily departures and the latest rolling stock, but taking 8 nights, or riding nameless train 61/62 running only 3 days a week with slightly older rolling stock, but with 70 fewer stops, taking only 7 nights from Moscow to Vladivostok and saving a whole day & night.  Personally, I'd take the Rossiya, for the name as well as the hot shower in every car!

The photos below show the Rossiya pre-July 2020, courtesy of Yves Goovaerts, David Smith, Nicholas Stone & Hilary Onno.  It's possible that this rolling stock is now used on train 61/62, whilst even newer stock is used on train 1/2 Rossiya.

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The Rossiya on its journey from Moscow to Vladivostok.  After years in a special red, white and blue colour scheme, in 2017 even the famous Rossiya is now in RZD (Russian Railways) corporate red and grey.  Photo courtesy of Hubert Horan.

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The Rossiya.  An air-conditioned sleeping-car...
2nd class 4-berth, known in Russia as kupé.  Larger photo.
The restaurant car on the Rossiya serving meals, drinks & snacks...

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Sound system...
There's a power socket under the table...
A typical restaurant meal...
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The Rossiya at Vladivostok station.  Photo courtesy of Hubert Horan...

What's the journey to Vladivostok like?

The Man in Seat 61 says:  "A journey from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Rossiya was a totally different experience from a previous journey from Moscow to Beijing on train 4.  Travelling to Japan via Vladivostok, my 1st class 2-berth car was comfortable, spotlessly clean and even air-conditioned.  I usually ate in the restaurant car, and by the end of the trip Mischa in the kitchen would have my ham & eggs in the frying pan for breakfast as soon as I appeared in the restaurant.  In contrast to the vibrant international community on board train 4 to Beijing, on train 2 I was the sole Westerner aboard until Irkutsk.  And also unlike the Moscow-Beijing train where almost everyone is making the complete journey, very few passengers on the Rossiya are going all the way to Vladivostok.  The Rossiya is used for all sorts of shorter intermediate journeys, with Russians getting on and off at every station.  I had a compartment all to myself on leaving Moscow, then shared it with a professional Russian ice hockey player from Yaroslavl to Perm, on his way to trial for the team there.  His place was taken by a Russian lady from Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk who said very little.  In Irkutsk two professors from Alabama joined the train and became my meal companions in the restaurant.  The train stops several times a day, usually only for 10-20 minutes, but you can stretch your legs and take photographs.  Arrival in Vladivostok was a full two minutes ahead of schedule, seven days after leaving Moscow. The ocean terminal is adjacent to the station, but you may need to spend a night in Vladivostok to be sure of a safe connection.  Vladivostok is an interesting city, and a day or two spent there will not be wasted.  Overall, the Moscow-Vladivostok route is 7 days of Siberia on a train with few fellow westerners and indeed few Russians making the whole trip.  This makes for a much less interesting journey that the Moscow-Mongolia-Beijing train, and one that it would be good to break up with stopovers rather than make in one go."

Trains 3 & 4, the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Mongolian Express

Trains 3 (westbound) and 4 (eastbound) link Moscow & Beijing once a week all year round, taking the shorter and most interesting route via Mongolia and the Gobi desert, 4,735 miles in 6 nights.  The train is Chinese, and has Chinese carriage attendants.  Using the correct Chinese terminology it has deluxe soft sleepers (2-berth), soft sleepers (4-berth) and hard sleepers (also 4-berth).  Most westerners are content to use the fairly comfortable & economical 4-berth hard sleepers, which are essentially the equivalent of 4-berth kupé on the Russian trains.  The 4-berth soft sleepers are not worth the extra money as they are virtually identical to the 4-berth hard sleepers, just slightly larger, though not so as you'd notice without getting your tape measure out.  However, the 2-berth deluxe soft sleepers are definitely worth the extra cash if you can get one, as they have upper & lower berths and an armchair in one corner, a small table and access to a compact en suite washroom with shower head shared with the adjacent compartment, see the deluxe sleeper photo here.  Don't expect too much of the shower head though!  There are both western and squat toilets at the end of each car, along with washrooms.  A Russian restaurant car is attached whilst the train is in Russia, a Mongolian one in Mongolia and a Chinese one whilst it is in China, see food details here.

What's a journey to Beijing like?  Click here for an illustrated account...

How to avoid confusion over classes...  Remember that this train is Chinese, not Russian.  Deluxe soft sleepersoft sleeper & hard sleeper are usually translated for westerners as 1st class 2-berth, 1st class 4-berth & 2nd class 4-berth, certainly by agencies at the Chinese end.  In my opinion that's an appropriate translation as the Chinese 4-berth hard sleepers are equivalent to 4-berth kupé sleepers on Russian trains, and so can safely be thought of as 2nd class, not 3rd.  However, some Russian agencies including the reliable Real Russia booking system translate the deluxe soft sleepersoft sleeper & hard sleeper on this Chinese train as 1st, 2nd and 3rd class, where 2nd class means a 1st class 4-berth soft sleeper that's not worth the extra money and 3rd class means a comfortable 4-berth hard sleeper which is more accurately thought of as 2nd class and which I would recommend for most budget travellers.  I hope that's clear!  Oh, and train 4, train 004, train 004Z (or in Cyrillic, what is often mistaken for 0043) are all the same train, train 4...

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The Chinese restaurant car on train 4, attached between Erlan & Beijing.  A Russian restaurant car is attached whilst in Russia, a Mongolian one in Mongolia.  Courtesy of Peter & Janet Jackson.
Train 4 crossing Mongolia...  The train calls at Ulan Bator, then sweeps across the wide open spaces of the Gobi desert.  Courtesy of Tony Willis.

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Each carriage of trains 3 & 4 proudly carries a 'Beijing - Ulan Bator - Moscow' destination board in Russian & Chinese.  Courtesy of Tony Willis.
4-berth hard sleeper. Soft sleeper 4-berth is virtually identical. Courtesy Tony Willis.
2-berth deluxe soft sleeper with shared en suite washroom.  Photo courtesy of Richard Kirk

Train 5 & 6 Moscow - Ulan Bator

Train 5 westbound, train 6 eastbound, uses modern air-conditioned Mongolian Railways (MTZ) sleeping-cars, newly-delivered in 2017.  It has 4-berth kupé (2nd class) compartments and spalny vagon (1st class) 2-berth compartments.  These new Mongolian cars have similar interiors to the cars on train 1 & 2 Rossiya.  A Russian restaurant car is attached whilst in Russia.

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Mongolian cars on train 6 from Moscow to Ulan Bator.  Photos courtesy of Keith Finger.

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Staff on train 6...
Russian bar-restaurant car on train 6...

Trains 19 & 20 Vostok, the Trans-Manchurian train between Moscow & Beijing

Train 19 westbound, train 20 eastbound, the Vostok is the Russian train linking Moscow and Beijing once a week.  It by-passes Mongolia, crossing directly from Russia into China via the older and slightly longer route through Manchuria, 8,986km (5,623 miles) in 7 nights.  The name Vostok simply means 'East'.  The Vostok was given a makeover in 2012-2013, and the photos below show the new red and grey colour scheme and smart refurbished interior.  The train has Russian-style 2-berth & 4-berth sleepers, and a restaurant car - a Russian restaurant when in Russia and a Chinese one when in China.  There are power sockets for laptops, cameras or mobiles in every compartment.  Unlike the Chinese 2-berth sleepers on train 3/4, the Russian 1st class 2-berths on this train are of the Russian spalny vagon type with two lower berths, think of it as a 4-berth with the upper berths removed, but no washbasin or adjacent washroom, as in the 4-berth sleepers there are toilets and washrooms at the end of the corridor.  For an account of this journey, see Angie Bradshaw's blog here.

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Train 19 from Beijing to Moscow, about to leave Beijing station.  This train is now in corporate RZD red & grey.  Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.
4-berth sleeper on train 19 from Beijing to Moscow. Courtesy of Angie Bradshaw, see her blog here.  Larger photo.

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The Russian restaurant car attached to this train whilst in Russia.  Photo courtesy of David Smith.
Another shot of train 19.  Photo courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

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Train 19 rolls into Beijing station to begin its 6-night journey to Moscow.  Photo courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.
The Chinese restaurant attached to this train whilst in China.  Photo courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.  Larger photo.

Trans-Siberian train times

Here is a summary of all the most important trains on the Trans-Siberian Railway.  Make sure you read the notes!  The times shown are departure times unless it says otherwise, at most stations you can assume the arrival time will be 5 to 15 minutes before departure.  There are other slower trains not shown here, simply use the Real Russia online system here to find train times for all possible trains, or to confirm these times.

All times shown below are local time...  Russian trains used to run to Moscow time whilst in Russia, even if local time was 7 hours ahead of Moscow.  However, but RZD Russian Railways ended this century-old practice from August 2018 and now use local time in all their timetables and booking systems.

Fun with time zones...  Russia made Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent in 2011 making Moscow GMT+4 all year round but in 2014 they changed their minds and abolished it altogether, so Moscow is now GMT+3 all year round.  So China is now permanently 5 hours ahead of Moscow as they too have no DST.  Mongolia was also permanently 5 hours ahead of Moscow and on the same time as Beijing, until the Mongolians changed their minds and reintroduced DST in March 2015 making them GMT+8 (Moscow +5, Beijing+0) in winter but GMT+9 (Moscow+6, Beijing+1) in summer.  But in 2017 they've changed their minds again and have once more abolished DST so Mongolia is now GMT+8 or Moscow time +5 all year round.  Until someone changes their mind again, of course.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 2024:  The timetable below is the pre-pandemic, pre-war-in-Ukraine timetable, for information only.