Friday, July 29, 2016

Welcome to a new era of Russian platzkart

As our overnight train to Volgograd approached the station we observed that it looked rather new. "Looks like a nice train - just for us!" I joked. Thankfully, I was right - it turned out to be a Platzkart trip like I've never had before.

The first thing I noticed when we entered was that it didn't stink. Most Russian trains have that special stench, but in this train the smell was completely neutral. As the train started to pull away from the station I realized that an air conditioner had been turned on. I could hardly believe it! It usually goes without saying that any 3rd class ride in the summer time will be a hot and sweaty one - not this tine! At the ends of the wagon there was not one, but two toilets equipped with toilet paper, seat covers, paper towels, and an air freshener spray. I kid you not!

Not bad Russia, not bad at all!

3 comments:

  1. You must have wondered if you were, indeed, in Russia! Glad for the improvement! Maybe it IS a new Russia...didn't you say that you also ran into many friendly Russians when you were in Moscow with Joseph last spring? Well played, Russia! ��

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  2. We had the same kind of experiencing traveling platzcart to Kazan. I was amazed at how nice the train was! The only other time I traveled platzcart (usually we do kupe) was in Ukraine a few years ago. It was an overnight trip to Crimea on an old train and we all nearly sweated to death with no air conditioning and windows glued shut, ugh. Someone on the train to Kazan said that this was a фирменный поезд and that's why it was so nice. I'm not really sure what that means, though- do you know?

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    1. Hmm, I'm not really sure what that means either, but now that you mention it I did see some trains marked as that type as well. I've actually read that Russia wants to do away with platzkart http://calvertjournal.com/articles/show/4939/platskart-russian-sleeper-third-class-train-travel-photo

      That makes me pretty sad although I don't think platskart is going anywhere anytime soon in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, for example.

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