Faster rail travel

State-owned monopoly Russian Railways launched its first high-speed train service linking Moscow with St Petersburg in December. In a country that spans 11 time zones there are really only two ways to travel any great distance: planes and trains. The country is too big for cars, and roads that run through the tundra are hard to maintain. The rail trip from Russia’s Atlantic to Pacific coasts takes more than a week; even travelling from Moscow to St Petersburg is still an overnight journey. However, the three new high-speed “Sapsan” trains running daily between the two cities will cut the journey to three hours and 45 minutes at a cost of £67 for a second-class ticket. Russian Railways hopes to launch a high-speed link between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod in June.

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