Ukrainian Railways

“Sometimes the wrong train takes you to the right station”

— The Lunchbox

Trains are the most popular mode of transport in Ukraine. Trains are cheap, pretty punctual and well spread all around the country.

Last year 157.6 million people benefited from the railway services in Ukraine. The name of the national train company is Ukrzaliznytsia.

There are 3 basic types of trains:

  1. Intercity — are express trains usually between Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and main cities. These trains have pretty comfortable seats, a cafe, a functional air-conditioner, and pleasant staff;
  2. Pasazhyrsky poyizd — is the best option to travel on long-distance. Usually, these trains go overnight and have compartments with individual berths for each passenger;
  3. Elektrychka. This type of train is popular among local people. Slowly, not modern trains running between small cities and rural areas.

The trains might have different Carriage Classes

  • SV or Spalny vahon is a 1st-class sleeper compartment each for two people. Usually, the price for the tickets for this type of carriage is two to three times more than kupe;
  • Kupe is a 2nd-class sleeper compartment for four people. This type is the most popular class. It seems that to be in the same compartment with other people is not comfortable, but usually, it is not awkward but funny;
  • Platskart is the 3rd-class sleeper. In this carriage, there are no separate compartments, but four bunks in each side, along with two others in the corridor;
  • Zahalny vahon is fourth-class with an upright bench seat for the entire way. Usually, these types of carriage are in trains at a small distance;
  • 1st/2nd Class (C1/C2). Generally, there are Intercity trains.

Where to buy tickets?

You can buy tickets both online and offline:

  • Offline at the station ticket office.
  • Online on official Ukrainian railways site (https://booking.uz.gov.ua) or on https://bilet.privatbank.ua/uk/

INSIGHT: tickets are on sale 45 days before the date of departure.

What do you need to remember when you are buying tickets?

  • you need to know your destination, number of tickets required, class of carriage and date of travel;
  • you have to show your passport.

What you need to know to have a comfortable journey:

  • you need to show your ticket and passport when you enter the train;
  • the workers on the trains are called Provodnyk. You can find them in each carriage. They collect the tickets, distributes sheets, wakes up everybody in the morning and serves cups of tea\coffee;
  • you can buy a snack and sandwiches on the train;
  • the toilets close in 10 minutes before stope and open after 10 minutes after the stop.

At the train station, there are a lot of different signatures. Here are those that help you to find your rain:

  • розклад Timetable;
  • прибуття Arrivals;
  • відправлення Departures;
  • камера схову Left-luggage room and/or lockers;
  • продаж квитків Ticket booking/advance tickets.

PS: Some Ukrainians trains are modern and comfortable, but some of them are pretty old. It is easy to book and buy tickets and use Ukrainian railways.

I’m a fellow traveller and explorer of Ukraine. Based in Kyiv. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I’m very friendly and always open to discussing new projects, interesting ideas or opportunities to be part of Ukraine.
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