The number of passengers travelling by Russian Railways long-distance trains on international services to non-CIS countries in January-February 2017 increased by 18.1% compared to the same two months of 2016 and amounted to almost 98,200 people.
The largest increases were recorded between Russia – Finland, which rose by 31.3%, Russia – Germany, up by 28.8%, Russia – Italy (+11.2%) and Russia – China (+5.5%).
In accordance with the 2016/2017 train timetable, international passenger transport is provided by direct and transit services on 20 international routes to 11 countries in Europe and Asia – Germany, France, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Monaco, Italy, Finland, China and Mongolia.
On its international services, the Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, uses new comfortable trains consisting of four-berth compartment carriages with RIC dimensions, which are manufactured jointly by the OAO Tver Railway Carriage Works and Siemens.
The carriages provide comfortable sleeping berths, sockets in each compartment and a folding table in combination with a sink.
All carriages are also equipped with air conditioning with individual adjustment in the compartment. Each car has two sanitary rooms, including one with a built-in shower.
In order to meet the growing demand for transportation and to improve the quality of passenger services, the new international train No. 13/14 Strizh Moscow – Berlin entered service from December 2016.
A distinctive feature of this train is that for the first time, a passenger train consisted of carriages fitted with equipment enabling the gauge of its wheel sets to be changed automatically from the Russian broad-gauge track of 1520mm to the narrower 1435mm European line.
This technology greatly reduces the time formerly needed to change all the bogies for the whole train at Brest station in Belarus, where the Russian gauge ends and the European one begins.