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 18.10.2011 Buy train tickets in Ukraine

Booking train tickets in Ukraine

We book Ukrainian train tickets and deliver them to your address abroad or in Ukraine.

To book your Ukrainian railway ticket, please, send us e-mail. Within 24 working hours we will confirm the availability.

We can deliver tickets worldwide fully insured for loss, we currently use DHL Express.

Please note, the train tickets in Ukraine are bookable 42 days or less prior to a departure date.

Ways of payment:
bank transfer, Money Gram or Western Union.

We will charge $70 (EUR 50) for International Express Delivery plus a raiway ticket price. It’s a fee per order and not per each ticket.

Please email us at greenukraine2010@gmail.com

Ukrainian Railways

Ukrainian Railway

Ukraine in general has a reliable railway system. The faster trains between Lviv and Kyiv run at night and the journey lasts about 8 hours. Recently a new fast daytime train was started between Lviv and Kyiv. Crossing into Ukraine by train from the West would take longer as you have to go through customs and the process of changing train wheels to fit Ukraine’s wider railway track gauge. You can shorten this delay by taking a train to Przemysl (Poland), where Ukraine’s wide gauge tracks begin, and from there change for the Ukrainian train to reach Lviv, Kyiv and other destinations in Ukraine.

The most convenient connections could be made from Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Przemysl and Budapest. No online reservations are yet accepted by the Ukraine Railways but expected in the near future.

Ukrainian Trains

Ukrainian trains offer the normal ‘Russian’ range of sleeping accommodation:

Ukrainain train first class

1st class

(‘Spalny Wagon’) – 2-berth compartments. Some trains have Russian-style compartments with both beds at the lower level, other trains use European-style cars with an upper and lower berth plus a washbasin. This is the best type of carriages in Ukraine. Every carriage has 9 cabins, 2 berths in each cabin. Beneath the lower berth(s) there is a box for luggage, which can accommodate 1-2 medium bags. Bigger storage for luggage is in the niche above the door. There is a small unfolding table by the window. Every cabin has a door lock and can be locked from the inside.

There are two models of 1st class cabins:
* with horizontal berths (two berths on the same level)
* with vertical berths (one berth is above another, those cabins usually have a wash-stand under unfolding table lid) Each carriage has WCs with wash-stands, 2 per each carriage. 1st class cabins are air-conditioned during the summer time. Air-conditioning is functioning while the train engine is working. Therefore it might be rather hot in the first hour or so of the trip and when the train is making stopovers. One or two stewards serve every carriage. In winter there is adequate heating.

Ukrainain train second class

2nd class

(‘Kupé’) – 4-berth compartments, 9 compartments per coach. Toilets and washrooms are at the end of the corridor. 2nd class is usually quite acceptable type of carriages. The quality depends on each train.

Each carriage has 9 cabins, each cabin has 4 berths – 2 lower and 2 upper ones. There are boxes for luggage below the lower berths. Bigger storage for luggage is in the niche above the door. There is a small unfolding table by the window. Every cabin has a door lock and can be locked from the inside. 2nd class cabins in Express trains are usually air-conditioned but not always. Each carriage has WCs with washing-stands, 2 per each carriage. One or two stewards serve every carriage.

Ukrainain train third class

3rd class

(‘Platskartny’) – open-plan dormitory cars. Bunks are arranged in bays of four on one side of the aisle, in bays of 2 alongside the coach wall on the other side of the aisle, 54 bunks per coach. Not the best choice. Each carriage has 54 berths, among which 36 berths of normal type (in cabins) and 18 side located (along the passageway). Berths are in two levels. Cabins have no doors and cannot be closed. There are boxes for luggage below lower level berths in cabins, and small luggage niches below side located ones. Under the upper level berths there are small berths for storing the luggage. Each carriage has WCs with washing-stands, 2 per each carriage. One or two stewards serve every carriage.In spite of very low quality of 3rd class carriages they are popular in Ukraine, the reason is their very low tickets price.

Right: ‘Platskartny’ car. There are 54 bunks per coach, arranged in transverse bays of 4 (at left of photo) and longitudinal bays of 2 above and below the window.

Far right: ‘Kupé’ class 4-berth compartments on an older Ukrainian train…

Whichever class of travel you choose, each coach is looked after by a pair of attendants called a ‘provodnik’ (male) or ‘provodnitsa’ (female). The provodnik will check your ticket at the door to the sleeper when you board. Shortly after departure, the provodnik will come round to take your ticket. You may be asked if you would like a glass of black Ukrainian tea (‘chai’) – this costs about 3 gryvnia, or about 30p. Bedding (two sheets, pillowcase and towel) is then handed out in sealed packs – blankets and mattresses will already be stacked in your compartment. After a few journeys, you will become quite proficient at making up your bed!

A samovar with unlimited free hot water is available at the end of the corridor – pack some tea or coffee, sugar, cuppa soups or water-based drinking chocolate and bring your own mug. Most long distance trains have a restaurant car serving drinks, snacks, and inexpensive full meals – reckon on less than £6 for two courses and a couple of bottles of beer.

4th Class

The words “cattle trucks” come to mind – do we need to say any more?
Totally not acceptable option. Actually, this is a 3rd class carriage, for which tickets are sold without assigning exact berth numbers (or just with symbolic number of a seat ). The unlimited quantity of tickets can be sold for this type of a carriage since it is supposed that it can accommodate 150 persons at a time

Buying railway ticket in Ukraine

How to buy train tickets at the station

Reservations are fully computerised, and you can book train tickets up to 45 days in advance for any journey within, or originating within, Ukraine at any Ukrainian railway station. If your Ukrainian or Russian isn’t up to scratch, write down your requirements, using the Cyrillic (Russian) script if you can. Alternatively, to avoid the queues and any language hassles, you can book rail tickets through travel agencies, for example those located in the lobbies of certain major hotels.

In Lviv you can buy railway tickets at the main railway station’s ticket office, or at the ticket office in the city center at 20, Hnatiuka Street. Your ID is not required for buying train tickets in Ukraine. Be prepared to stand in line to get served.

No online reservations are yet accepted by the Ukraine Railways but expected in the near future.

Ukrainian railway stations

Big cities generally have two raiway stations located next to each other — one for long-distance trains (“вокзал” or “ж/д вокзал“) and another for local electric trains (“пригородный вокзал” – Russ.; “приміський вокзал” – Ukr.).

Buying rail tickets

In big cities, there are railway ticket offices (“залізнична каса” – Ukr., “ж/д касса” – Russ.) scattered around town in addition to the central train station (“вокзал” – Russ. and Ukr.) where you can buy train tickets (but not for “elektrichki“). You no longer need ANY picture I.D. to buy train tickets to destinations within Ukraine OR to board trains!

Ukrainian Railway ticket

Buy tickets ahead of time!

You need to buy tickets in advance, because often they run out several days before departure. This is especially true of the summer months and weekends. Contact us!!!

Ticket office hours

Be prepared for lines at the ticket office and waits of as much as 30 minutes. Some offices tend to be busier, others faster. Try going early in the morning to avoid a long. Usually even better is about half an hour after opening. Hours are typically 8 or 9 am to 7 pm with an hour-long lunch break from either 12 to 1 pm or 1 to 2 pm and two or more “technical breaks” of a 20-minute duration during the day. In Kiev and other big cities, expect ticket offices at the central train station to work round the clock. In all stations there is a ‘special’ service desk or office. Here you will pay an extra ‘surcharge’ for a ticket, but believe me the 1,50$ is worth paying to avoid the waiting

Here is what you’ll need to tell the ticket lady (in Ukraine this is considered a woman’s job):

  • your destination
  • the date of departure
  • class of carriage (SV, kupé, or platzkart)
  • the number of passengers
  • your preferred train number or time of departure, if necessary the same information for your return ticket!

Some tips traveling Ukrainian Railways

Some tips traveling Ukrainian Railways

Which class should I get?
In our opinion, there is little difference in the “quality of sleep” between 1st and second class, both compartments are enclosed and usually comfortably air conditioned or heated and the bunks are the same length (about 190 cm). 3rd class is harder to sleep in since there is more noise from everyone else in the carriage, the lights are turned low but not completely off, the bunks are slightly shorter (about 180 cm), and there is no air conditioning (but there is heating).

While on board and travelling.
First of all don’t be late. You will still need to find a platform and a car to which you are assigned. At the door to the car, attendant (“provod’nik” -male, provod’nitsa – female) will check your ticket. About 20 – 30 minutes after departure the attendant will come around to take your ticket and to bring your bedding (two sheets, pillowcase and towel) if you travel “SV” first-class compartment you will find that the bed has already been made. You will be offered coffee or tea (you must pay but its is minimal) You can bring your own cup and a few bags of tea or coffee. Hot water is available for free in the boiler at the end of the corridor. Also pre buy food for the journey! Bring your own toilet paper, just in case there is none in the toilet. Infact I have never known there to be any, so you have been warned!

It is quite a common situation when people in your compartment invite you to join them for a meal.

Travelling by rail in Ukraine is secure, as long as you use the common sense that you would use anywhere:

Keep your luggage in a safe place under a bottom bunk. Keep money, documents and valuables on yourself. Try not to leave your compartment for a long time. Lock the compartment door during the night.

You can also travel alone if you wish – just book a full compartment for your private usage. But it might be smarter to exchange some privacy for possible increased safety when there are other people in your compartment.

Whichever way of travelling by rail you choose, try to accept it as a fun adventure. After a few journeys you will become an expert at Ukraine railway travel.

Trains are Ukrainians’ favored mode of long-distance transportation.
Prices are low, and sleeper cars make it possible to sleep at night in reasonable comfort. In addition to long-distance trains, there are short-distance “elektrichki” (electric) that connect regional capitals with outlying towns and villages. An overnight rail journey in Ukraine can be a fun and an adventure (especially if others travelling in your compartment befriend you and offer you vodka, which is known to happen!