Russian railways are owned by a state company “Russian Railways” (RZhD) or «Российские железные дороги» (РЖД) and its subsidiaries. Tickets can be bought either directly from them on their official site or you can use agents’ services (of course agents sell tickets at higher prices):
RZD site: http://goo.gl/JZzFmS
Some of the agents: http://www.russianrailways.com/
If you work on the RZhD site the process of purchase is this
You should type in the destination, choose a date or dates in case you need a return ticket
Here you see several columns
1st – The number of the train and its starting point as well as arrival station (name of the station is also indicated (1st line Moskva Oct / S-Peter-Gl means the train departs from the Leningradsky station in Moscow and arrives at the Moskovsky station in Saint-Petersburg), read more in Stations). If you see letters “ЭР” near train picture you can print your ticket and present it along with you passport on boarding the train. If there is no “ЭР” you need to get a paper ticket from a ticket officer at the station or from a special ticket machine.
2nd the time, date and place of departure
3rd time of travel
4th the time, date and place of arrival
5th types of carriages, number of seats left in them and the price for each class of travel
6th RZhd has its own loyalty programme and here you can see how many points you will earn if you buy this ticket. The loyalty programme is called RZhD Bonus, it has a site, but it is only in Russian https://rzd-bonus.ru/index.html
7th if you press the word ROUTE you will see the stops this train makes
After you have chosen a train you should choose the carriage and have a look at the seat map (write down the number of seats you would like to book, you will be able to choose them on the next stage).
The system will ask you to register
Here you should type in passenger’s details as per passport and choose your seat. If you want 2 upper berths (they are cheaper than the lower in NG trains) you should type 14-16 and select ‘upper’ from the drop-down list. If you buy 3 tickets and you choose 14-16 seats the person in the first column will be assigned seat number 14, in second – 15, third – 16. It is important to avoid mistakes, because your passport will be checked before boarding and if there is discrepancy you will be refused boarding.
On the next stage you will be able to check all the details once again. If you buy a return ticket you will have to buy 2 segments separately in two transactions. So don’t stop after making one payment.
In case there is no “ЭР” icon and an electronic ticket will not suffice you need to approach a ticketing officer at the station and ask him to give a ticket to you instead of the one you printed at home. Some stations also have ticket machines for printing tickets. Please, take note that you can print out only tickets that you have already paid for.
This is the way to proceed. You should press the red button “Получить билеты”.
Then you should type a 14-digit number of your order (to be found at the very top of your e-ticket) and press “Далее”.
Then you should choose the type of your ID and press “Далее”.
|Russian Passport||Russian International Passport|
|Foreign Passport||Birth Certificate|
|Military ID||USSR Passport|
Here you should type the number of your passport and press “Далее”. To switch between Cyrillic and Latin alphabets press either “РУС” for Russian or “ЛАТ” for English.
On the next stage you will see the details of your order, please check and press “Далее”. Wait while your ticket is being printed.
“Далее” – Forward
“Назад” – Back
“В начало” – To the beginning