The first modernized couchette car re-entered service on March 18, following the completion of testing and certification. New cars will be used on trains 19/20 Rostov-na-Donu – Moscow and 11/12 Anapa – Moscow.
Couchette cars offer basic and cheap accommodation on Russia’s long-distance trains. Russian Railways had previously been concerned that the dormitory-style third class coaches were no longer attractive to passengers, however, following passenger feedback it decided to retain the traditional style of accommodation, but with upgrades to improve the passenger environment.
The modernization retains the traditional semi-open layout without compartment doors, but curtains have been added to increase privacy and the berths now have power sockets and USB-connectors and individual lighting. The coach is fully air-conditioned, and the toilets have hygienic showers, baby changing station, built-in hand dryers, soap dispensers, paper towels.
Russian Railways expects to have 50 of the modernized cars in service by the end of the year.