In a large country as Ukraine, trains are most of all composed by sleeping cars. They usually travel during the night taking in average about 10 hours to reach the final destination.
The train depart usually in the late afternoon ad arrive at destination the next morning. This happen on routes as Kiev – Donetsk, Kiev – Ivano – Frankovsk. On other routes as Donetsk – Lvov, the trip last even more than 1 day.
Some are electrical and other are Diesel. We are not expert so we just public some photos of them.
Electrical Ukrainian locomotive
Old Ukrainian locomotive
The sleeping cars
The carriages are characterized by their typical light blue color with yellow stripe. There anyway wagons with different colors as the one of the train Uzgorod – Kiev.
Several trains also have a specific name ex. Donbass for the Donetsk – Kiev, Dnipro for the Dnepropetrovsk – Kiev etc…
Sleeping car “Donbass” Donetsk – Kiev
Train “Azov”, Mariupol – Kiev
Train “Zakarpattia”, Uzgorod – Kiev
The name and the destination are written on a plate on both sides of the wagon.
“Prikarpattia”, Ivano-Frankisvsk – Kyiv
Apart from the “traditional” wagons, there are also renewed carriages which especially inside are much better than the previous ones.
Renewed wagon, train “Donbass”
Renewed wagon of the train Lviv – Kyiv
A part of the normal sleeping cars exist also a restaurant wagon.
Restaurant wagon, train “Donbass”
Interior of the sleeping cars
Mainly the wagons are possible to be divided in these 3 typologies:
–First class: Lyuks (Люкс) compartments with only 2 beds (and extra comforts)
–Second class: Kupe (Купе) compartment with 4 beds, 2 up and 2 down
–Third class: Platskart (Плацкарт) there is not division in compartments. You have more than 3 neighbors…
In some trains exist also a forth class Zahal’nyi (Загальний), where there are only sits and not beds.
A big difference consist in the age of the carriage and if the wagon was renewed or not.
Kupe class “traditional” wagons
These wagons can be quite good (even if not renewed) as the ones of the “Donbass” (see photo) or to be rather old as the ones of the Donetsk – Sevastopol or the ones of the “Prikarpattia”.
In general, the standard comfort are:
– “Clean” bed linen (at least they are given in a sealed package)
– Radio and lights for the whole compartment
– A personal light next to every bed.
– Boxes where to put the luggage (over the door and under the two down beds)
– Power plugs, usually only inside and next to the toilet (often they don’t work)
– Heating system and conditioned air (not always working property and sometimes not even available)
There are 2 toilets for every wagon.
Entrance wagon Kupe, “Prikarpattia”
Train Donbass, Donetsk – Kiev
Entrance of the corridor, train “Donbass”
Corridor wagon Donetsk – Kiev
Compartment Kupe, train Donetsk – Kiev
Stair to the upper bed, train Donetsk – Kiev
Upper bed with mattress
Control panel, train “Donbass”
Train Lviv – Donetsk
Corridor of the wagon, train Lviv – Donetsk
Upper bed with bed linen
Train Donestk – Sevastopol
Small table, train Donetsk – Sevastopol
Upper bed with light, train Donetsk – Sevastopol
Between all these trains the most comfortable was the “Donbass”. The worst was the Sevastopol also because when we tried it was winter and the radiators were extremely hot and the air inside the compartment was very heavy.
These carriages are completely renewed. They look clean and modern. In general they don’t have anything to envy to the western ones.
Inside the compartments there is a special control panel which also tell if the WC are busy or not. On it there is also a power plug every useful for to reach PC or mobile phones.
The toilets are much, much better than the previous ones.
Train Donbass, Donetsk – Kiev
Entrance train “Donbass”, renewed wagon
Corridor renewed wagon, train “Donbass”
Compartment, train Donetsk – Kiev
Upper bed, train “Donbass”
Kupe, “Donbass” Donetsk – Kiev
Control panel of the compartment
Train “Lviv”, Lviv – Kyiv
Renewed wagon train “Lviv”
Compartment train “Lviv”
Bed and mattress, train Lviv – Kyiv
They are usually not hygienic and essential. Especially before the arrival (so after the night) they are dirty and the floor is often wet.
Much better are the ones of the renewed wagons.
Toilet, train “Donbass”
Sink, Ukrainian train
WC train Lviv – Donetsk
Sink, train “Donbass”
WC, train Donetsk – Kiev
The prices of the tickets change according to the distance, the class and the kind of the wagon. The renewed wagons cost a bit more (but the difference of price is truly worthy).
First class: about 500 uah (100 usd)
Second class: about 125 uah (25 usd)
Third class: about 80 uah (16 usd)
The best one is the Kupe (quality/price).
The first class can costs even more than to take the plane.
Remember to book as soon as you can or you risk to don’t find any ticket left.
Keep your ticket in a place where you can easily reach it. The woman of the carriage will ask it two times:
1 before you to come inside her wagon
2 when the train depart and in this occasion she will not give it back (when you are close to your destination, you can ask her to give it back to you).
-As rule, the down beds are considered to be the best, since you can also sit there and not only to lie down… and for this reason are also the first that are sold out.
Grannies and grandpa will aspect you to give them such place even if you own a ticket for such place.
-Before to lay down on your bed, you need to “make the bed”
you will find there a kind of mattress, a pillow, several “clean” shits and an heavy blanket.
Prior to your arrival, you have to put everything as it was before and give all those “clean” shits to the woman of the train.
For to know how to read Ukrainian tickets:
Videos of Ukrainian trains
Train “Zakarpattia” departing from Kiev:
Other types of Ukrainian trains
Elektrichka (Электричка) o Elektropoezd:
Freight train in Donetsk:
Ukrainian train timetable
http://www.uz.gov.ua (only in Russian and Ukrainian)