We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
348 posts
FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

There is a short summary about the commuter trains ("elektrichka") in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region.

Q: Where I can go by a commuter train?

Here is the list of a well known tourist places, where you can go by a commuter train. In brackets is the name of the appropriate station if differs.

- Peterhof (Novyi Peterhof)

- Oranienbaum (Oranienbaum-1)

- Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo) - where the Catherine Palace is situated.

- Pavlovsk

- Gatchina (Gathina Varshavskaya, Gathchina Baltiyskaya - depend on the route you choose)

- Vyborg

- Novgorod (Novgorod-na-Volhove)

- Pskov - with some limitations

Q: I see some 4 digits numbers near the trains in a schedule. Is it a train number?

Yes. Let's not to go into depth of the train numbering system in Russia. But you need to know, that for the commuter trains have 2 types of numbering, beginning with:

- 6 (i.e. 6314) - ordinary train

- 7 (i.e. 7452) - express train (usually Lastoshka - Desiro RUS from Siemens in Leningrad region).

Q: Are the tickets to the ordinary and express trains differs?

Yes! And tickets for ordinary trains are valid for only for these ones and can't be used for express!

Q: How i can buy a tickets to a commuter trains?

There are 2 options:

1. Use ticket office (nearly at every big station) - and almost all touristic-related ones.

2. You can use ticket vending machines. They have English language interactive system (Yes!) and also accept credit cards. Before using any credit cards - see note *** below about it.

Always use the appropriate option if buying the ticket to express (Lastochka) train.

Q: Are persons in the ticket offices speaks English?

Mostly not, but you can write down a station on the sheet of paper, number of persons traveling and show to person at ticket office. Usually it led to no problem in buying tickets.

Q: I want to avoid any possible misunderstandings while buying train tickets. How I can do it?

Use ticket vending machine. They have English language interactive system.

Q: Can I return a ticket?

No (only for a commuter train). Tickets can be returned only if issues with a schedule more than 1 hour and other Force majeure with railway equipment.

Q: What types of payment options has ticket vending machine.

Cash (in RUB!!!) and credit cards (see note *** below)

Q: Can I buy tickets while riding train?

In certain cases - yes. But there are some issues:

- You can't enter the platform until you go through turnstile (if any). Every big station has them. Until you buy the ticket - you can't enter the platform.

- You need to pay a fee (+80 RUB for each ticket paid) to the cashier in a train.

So, buying tickets on the train only takes sense if:

- you are in hurry, there are lines to the tickets office and ticket vending machines;

- there are no turnstiles on the station;

- you are ready to pay an additional fee;

- if there are no ticket office at station (no fees at this case).

Q: Is it round-trip tickets are cheaper per one way, that one way ticket?

No. The round-trip ticket is double priced than one way.

Q: Is it any reasons to buy a round-way railway?

If you are:

- Sure to go back way the same (usually you are).

- If you don't want to make a stopover.

- Don't want to be in a hurry while buying return ticket.

it is a good idea to buy a round-trip ticket.

Q: Are there any special types of tickets?

Yes (monthly, weekdays, etc). But for you, as a tourist, it has absolutely no sense.

Q: Can I stopover on station X, visit place Y and then continue my ride?

In terms of a trip - No. Of course you can do it physically - nobody insist you on continuing your trip to the endpoint but every time you off board the train you have to buy new ticket. There is no ordinary stopover rules in commuter trains. So if you want to visit different places on the route you have to buy tickets for each route leg.

*** Is it possible to pay for the ticket by the credit card?

In general yes, but it is fully depend on the size of the station. Railway stations - certainly yes. Ticket vending machine - mostly yes. Out of main touristic stations - mostly not. In any case it is highly advisable to exchange your money at any bank for quite attractive exchange rate and pay by cash. In that case you certainly save some money for exchange rate fees of your credit card provider.

[... to be continued...]

13 replies to this topic
Paris, France
Level Contributor
199 posts
1. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

Congratulations for this informative post.

Q1 Is it possible to buy an elekrichka ticket some days in advance through a vending machine (or ticket booth)?

Q2 Is it possible to buy an elektrichka ticket at a railway station not on the considered line? For instance, buying a Petergof ticket at the Ladozhskiy Vokzal?

Q3 Is it frequent to queue for buying from vending machine early in the morning (around 7:30AM)?

Spasibo in advance for your answers

Fabrice

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
348 posts
2. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

[... continued...]

Q: What is the typical time of a train ride to the main touristic sites and what about costs?

Here is the typical times from Central Railway Stations (RS) and costs for one way in RUB as of May 2016 (due to flow exchange rate in Russia - use your own currency converter to get your local currency prices):

Peterhof:

Baltyisky RS > Novyi Peterhof 40 min / 60 RUB

Oranienbaum:

Baltyisky RS > Oranienbaum-1 - 60 min / 81 RUB

Novyi Peterhof > Oranienbaum-1 - 15 min / 41 RUB (it is minimal fixed price for small distances)

Gatchina (route 1):

Baltyisky RS > Gathina Varshavskaya - 55 min / 102 RUB [Lastochka: 40 min / 113 RUB]

Gatchina (route 2):

Baltyisky RS > Gathchina Baltiyskaya - 1h 5 min / 102 RUB

Pushkin:

Vitebsky RS > Tsarskoe Selo - 30 min / 47 RUB

Pavlovsk:

Vitebsky RS > Pavlovsk - 36 min / 54 RUB

Tsarskoe Selo > Pavlovsk - 5 min / 41 RUB (it is minimal fixed price for small distances)

Vyborg (route 1, main):

Finlandsky RS > Vyborg - 2 h 10 min / 301 RUB (Lastochka: 1 h 15 min / 331 RUB)

Vyborg (route 2, slow, rural):

Finlandsky RS > Vyborg - 3h 40 min / 301 RUB

Novgorod (route 1, main):

Moskovsky RS > Novgorod-na-Volhove - 4 h 20 min / 557 RUB [Lastochka: 3 h / 579 RUB]

Novgorod (route 2, slow, rural):

Vitebsky RS > Novgorod-na-Volhove - 4 h 40 min / 481 RUB

Pskov (rural):

Baltyisky RS > Pskov - from 4 h 15 min to 5h 30 min (changing of train in Luga-1 needed) / 339 RUB + 359 RUB - not advisable for 1 day trip because of traveling time and just one train a day each direction!

Q: Is it possible to get the ticket in advance?

Yes. You can get a ticket in advance in 10 days before you trip in either ticket vending machine or in ticket office. Don't forget that tickets are not refundable! In case you lost your trip - you lost your money.

Q: Am I buying ticket for the certain train or not?

No. In terms of commuter trains you buying ticket for the ride - not the seat on the certain train. Thus no seat nrs. and reservation. Of course, you need to look a the timetable, because each day there can be only a few trains (rural routes).

Q: Are there any advice for a time to take a train?

Here are few things you need to aware about the commuter trains:

1. People living in suburbs are using the commuter train at weekdays to go to the work in the city. So the rush time is from 07:00 to 10:00 inbound direction (TO the city) and 16:00 to 19:00 outbound direction (FROM the city).

2. People living in the city are using the commuter train to go to theirs "dachas" (especially from May to September). So the rush times are:

- Fri from 16:00 to 21:00 outbound direction (FROM the city)

- Sat from 08:00 to 12:00 outbound direction (FROM the city)

- Sun from 16:00 to 21:00 inbound direction (TO the city) - really rush time! Avoid it.

[... to be continued...]

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
348 posts
3. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

[... continued...]

NOTE TYPO FIXING: the prices in previous block are as of May 2017 (not 2016!)

Q: What about public holidays and timetables? Are the number of trains significantly decrease like in Europe? Are here any rush time at holidays? What else should I to know?

Usually the long holidays has the following rules on timetables:

Pre-holiday weekday - works as Fri.

All within holidays but last - works as Sat.

Last day of the holiday - works as Sun.

These rules usually are not applied to the rural routes (see above).

Unlike Europe the number of trains on holidays usually increased not decreased. Because on holidays (especially at May-Sept) people are going to theirs dashas and traffic increased (the explanation of history of this word is given here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dacha).

As for the rush time in holidays - see previous Q: corresponding the days.

Q: What about tickets? How I should keep them (if I need)?

Yes. You need to keep your tickets during whole ride up to you leave your platform/station (if one way ride) and until you leave initial departure station/platform (if roundtrip ticket).

On the board you will be asked for the ticket by the cashier/control people. Show them ticket and they put a small mark on the opposite side of the ticket with personal stamp. It is the way they are controlling the tickets are not used twice a day within same route/same direction. So if you have a roundtrip ticket you will have 2 marks on the opposite side to the end of your journey. don't be confused on these marks and going through turnstiles - they are not depending on each other. In general you don't need to have ticket marked to go through turnstiles on the destination point!

When going to the platform with the turnstiles turn the ticket upside down and touch the tickets barcode the red laser window glass in the turnstile. When the green lite turned on - you are free to go. Don't be delayed while passing the turnstiles - they have fixed open time! Next person should wait until the turnstiles closed before touching the red laser window glass next time.

Q: Are there any difference between getting the ticket at the ticket office and ticket machine?

Yes. The point is that in ticket office you can give any banknote and coins (in RUB). But ticket machine has some limitations:

1. It can't handle the change more than 100 RUB (and these will be in coins).

2. It has some limitation on banknote accepted.

So the best practice to buy the ticket at the ticket machine is to have banktones in 100 RUB, 50 RUB, and some coins, approx. based on total amount of people riding and ride costs (see above typical ride costs). Vending machine has 2 values - current value paid and the target one - so you always have an idea how much it should be added to get the ticket paid and printed.

BTW, to have amount of 500 RUB, 100 RUB, 50 RUB banknotes is an always good practice in Russia because they are the best value for buying inexpensive stuff!

[... to be continued...]

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
348 posts
4. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

[... continued...]

Q: Are there any discounts on ticket price for children, students, seniors?

Here is the price policy for children:

0-5 yrs: free of charge

5-7 yrs: half of the full price

7-... yrs: full price

Students, seniors, etc: discounts only for locals and for certain periods. So for you, as a tourist, only full price available.

Q: Are there any limitations on coins, banknotes accepted in ticket machines?

Yes. The following restrictions apply:

Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10 RUB

Banknotes: 50, 100, 500, 1000 RUB

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can't get change if the difference between accepted and changed money is more that 100 RUB! So DON'T put 1000 RUB banknote in machine, if you need to buy only 80 RUB ticket!

TIP: Always look at the ticket machine - it shows final price for all tickets. And only put the overall money that doesn't exceed "FINAL PRICE + 100 RUB"!

Q: Are there any things that I should know, while riding the train?

1. Sometimes you can meet street musicians on-board that go through the train cars and play music on guitar to earn some money. General rules prohibit to do this, but none cares :)

2. Even more frequently you can meet local sellers also go through the train cars, that sell alot of stuff: ice-cream, water, chips, books, some clothes, "dachas" stuff, etc. General rules also prohibit to do this, but none cares :)

3. Is it safe to buy ice-cream in train?

In general - yes, because it is industrial manufactured ice-cream, not handmade. But it is only your full responsibility! And, please, note, that virtually none of sellers speaks English!

[... to be continued...]

Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

Thanks so much for this brilliant and informative thread!

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
79 posts
6. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

Oh my goodness, @ eduardtibet, do you work for the Transportation Ministry? :))) How on earth do you know so much in detail? I am so thankful to you for your time and care to share with us, travelers, all this helpful information.

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
348 posts
7. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

@linhsan

None of transportation ministry here :) I just use it regularly on several days a week basis.

BTW, If you use anything frequently by yourself no matter what it is, I believe you also know details of that and know how to share it with others :)

Brisbane, Qld
Level Contributor
201 posts
119 reviews
8. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

Just wanted to say thanks for such an informative, useful post - appreciate you taking the time.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
199 posts
9. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

After my June 2017 experience, replies to my past questions (see post#1).

Q1 Is it possible to buy an elekrichka ticket some days in advance through a vending machine (or ticket booth)?

I've been buying my elekrichka ticket to Pavlosk the day before at a ticket booth. Since I dont' speak russian, the difficulty was for explaining that I needed a ticket for the day AFTER.

Q2 Is it possible to buy an elektrichka ticket at a railway station not on the considered line? For instance, buying a Petergof ticket at the Ladozhskiy Vokzal?

I didn't try, but most probably possible considering possibilities presented by the vending machine.

Q3 Is it frequent to queue for buying from vending machine early in the morning (around 7:30AM)?

On June 2017, few people were using the large number of vending machine. Not even one queue. Easy to use as far as you understand how to select the english menu.

Fabrice

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
348 posts
10. Re: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)

@Fabrice

--------------

Q2 Is it possible to buy an elektrichka ticket at a railway station not on the considered line? For instance, buying a Petergof ticket at the Ladozhskiy Vokzal?

I didn't try, but most probably possible considering possibilities presented by the vending machine.

--------------

No, It is not possible. I have an official letter from train company that tells this is NOT possible. Moreover vending machines have departure point - you current station where the ticket machine is installed - hardcoded into the menu. You can't even switch to other departure station than current - you can only select destination station. And as official letter says - there are NO plans to change this behavior for vending machines.

So the following rules applied (<> - to and return):

Ticket office (at station A, line X): possible routes: A <> C, B <> C (if B, C belong to the line X).

Ticket machine (at the same station A, line X): only A <> C possible. (if C belongs to the line X).

So it is NOT possible to buy a ticket to the station others than current line route. It is irrespective to the current line.

Reply to: FAQ: Saint Petersburg commuter trains (+Leningrad region)
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted