This is my last post to provide some information about Trans-Siberian Journey. If you read previous three posts plus this post, it gives you complete insight about the Trans-Siberian Adventure. In this post, I will tell you about the various facilities available on-board a train, while traveling on the Trans-Siberian Railway:
Food: While travelling on the Trans-Siberian, managing your meal is a big task. Think about 3-4 days of continuous journey in a train. You have to manage your breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything else. Thankfully, there are many options available during this journey:
1. Most Expensive, The Dining Car: Every train has a dining car. However, a 50 Rubble juice can be as costly as 130 Rubble. An attendant regularly walk around to sell the food items in the coaches, just like the pantry car system in Indian trains. However, in more luxurious train like Rossiya, you can also walk into the dining car, and take your meal in the moving restaurant.
2. Affordable, The En-route Stations: The trains stops at major stations, after almost every 4-5 hours , for 10-20 minutes. You can buy food stuffs from the many shops available at the station’s platform. Earlier, there were lot of vendors roaming around the train to sell their stuffs, but now only official shops can sell these items at the platforms. So, except some small stations, you have to buy the food from these shops only. Prices are again inflated at these shops, but they are affordable.
3. Cheapest Option, Your own food stock: The best thing on the train is the availability of hot water. Hot water is available in the train throughout the year without any cost. It provides you the freedom to stock up some noodles, soups, tea, juice, fruits and other ready to eat items, so that you can take your meal as per your wish. It’s pretty cheap also. Most of the travellers manage their meals in this way.
Coach Attendants (Provodnitsas): On the long distance trains, there are one or two smartly-uniformed coach attendants in every coach. Known as Provodnitsas, they also act as the ticket checker. They check the tickets, provide the bed linen, clean the samovars (hot water containers) and also, clean the compartments floor at regular intervals. Most of them can not speak or understand any other language than Russian.
Drinking Water: Drinking water is not available on-board. But, hot water is available in a corner of every coach from a container, known as samovar. You can buy water or soft drinks from the coach attendant or from the attendant, who sells the food items.
Lights: The coaches are well lit with the proper lights. They may switch it off during the night.
Fan/AC/Heater: All coaches are well-equipped with AC/cooling facility during the summer and heating facility during the winter. The temperature in the coaches are pleasant normally.
Toilet: A toilet is available at one end of the every carriage. It remains locked 10 minutes prior to and 10 minutes after the every station. Toilets are normally clean on the long-distance train, but don’t expect to get any toiletries. Better to bring your own.
Dustbin: A garbage bean is there in front of the toilet door. You are suppose to collect all your garbage and waste material to put in that bean. Russian trains do not have open windows to throw the garbage outside like the Indian sleeper coaches. People are sensible enough to avoid littering in the coaches.
Cleanliness: The attendant wipes out the floor once in every 3-4 hour, so the compartments are generally neat and clean.
Bed Linen: Bed Linen is available on-board. You can pay linen charges either at the time of ticket booking or after boarding the train. The cost is 125 Rubble. A blanket, two sheets, a pillow and a thick mattress is available.
Mobile/Laptop Charging Socket: Only two charging sockets are available at each end of the compartment. A third point is also available in the toilet, but mainly for electric shavers. If you use the socket in toilet for the purpose of mobile charging, you may attracts penalty for violating the rules. However, many regular passengers use them frequently.
Bath Facility: Bathrooms are not available on most of the trains. However, the first class of Rossiya and private luxury trains have this facility also.
Security: The doors remain locked, while train is moving and you are not allowed to open them. Regular patrolling is also done by the police for security purposes.