Second class seating in Russian trains are also called “kupe” or “compartment”. 2nd class is the most popular one among foreign visitors because it gives you enough comfort and safety for a reasonable price. Let’s take a closer look and learn a bit more about the compartment class seating on the trains in Russia.
In the picture above you can see what a 2nd class compartment looks like in most of the Russian trains (some trains are a little bit more modernized than others). It is a 4-berth compartment with 2 bunks on the lower and 2 on the upper level. There are a total of 9 compartments like that in the second class carriage.
Odd numbers are the lower level bunks and evens are the upper level. Ticket prices for lower and upper level seats are usually identical, but sometimes RZD has a 50% discount on tickets for the upper level seating.
Corridor in the 2nd class carriage. As you can see in the picture, all of the compartments are separated from each other. Sliding doors may be locked from the inside for the passengers privacy and safety.
For certain trains, there is an option for getting tickets for “female only” and “male only” compartments. It might be an option for solo travelers, if you don’t feel comfortable sharing a cabin with strangers of the opposite sex.
Should I Get a Lower or an Upper Level Seat?
Most people prefer to have a lower level seat and that’s why they are always sold out first. I don’t see any cons of having an upper level seat compared to the one at the bottom, this is why when there is a choice you should go with the lower level.
If there are two of you taking a train in Russia, I would suggest you get a seat on the lower level and the one above. From my own experience, it is the best and most comfortable way of traveling in the Russian train for two people.
For a group of three people, get two lower level spots and one upper level. All 4 spots in the compartment not always get taken, but there is a chance that someone might get in and take that spot later on at one of the stops along the way.
If you don’t want to be sharing space with strangers, there is also an option to buy out all 4 spots in the compartment. You’ll be paying more, but it might make sense to do so if you want to have more freedom and just feel more comfortable.
Few facts about the price of the second class tickets:
- 2nd class tickets are at least 50% more expensive than 3rd class (reserved seat or it’s called “platzkart” in Russian);
- compartment tickets are about 40% cheaper than first class (it’s named as “Soft” on RZD website).
I hope that you found on here some useful information about the compartment 2nd class seating in Russian trains. If you have any questions about taking a train in Russia, don’t hesitate to ask me through the Disqus comments form below and I’ll be more than welcome to help you out!