Ukrainian Trains

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.

The locomotives

Some are electrical and other are Diesel. We are not expert so we just public some photos of them.

Electrical Ukrainian locomotiveElectrical Ukrainian locomotive

Ukrainian locomotiveUkrainian locomotive

Old Ukrainian locomotiveOld 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 - KievSleeping car  “Donbass” Donetsk – Kiev

Train "Azov", Mariupol - KievTrain “Azov”, Mariupol – Kiev

Train "Zakarpattia", Uzgorod - KievTrain “Zakarpattia”, Uzgorod – Kiev

The name and the destination are written on a plate on both sides of the wagon.

"Donbass", Donetsk-Kiev“Donbass”, Donetsk-Kiev

Prikarpattia, Ivano-Frankisvsk - Kyiv“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, train “Donbass”

Renewed wagon of the train Lviv - KyivRenewed wagon of the train Lviv – Kyiv

A part of the normal sleeping cars exist also a restaurant wagon.

Restaurant wagon, train "Donbass"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.

– Clotheshorses

– 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"Entrance wagon Kupe, “Prikarpattia”

Train Donbass, Donetsk – Kiev

Entrance of the corridor, train "Donbass"Entrance of the corridor, train “Donbass”

Corridoio vagone Donetsk - KievCorridor wagon Donetsk – Kiev

Compartment Kupe, train Donetsk - KievCompartment Kupe, train Donetsk – Kiev

Stair to the upper bed, train Donetsk - KievStair to the upper bed, train Donetsk – Kiev

Upper bed with mattressUpper bed with mattress

Control panel, train "Donbass"Control panel, train “Donbass”

Train Lviv – Donetsk

Corridor of the wagon, train Lviv - DonetskCorridor of the wagon, train Lviv – Donetsk

Upper bed with bed linenUpper bed with bed linen

Train Donestk – Sevastopol

Small table, train Donetsk - SevastopolSmall table, train Donetsk – Sevastopol

Upper bed with light, train Donetsk - SevastopolUpper 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.

Renewed wagons

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 wagonEntrance train “Donbass”, renewed wagon

Corridor renewed wagon, train "Donbass"Corridor renewed wagon, train “Donbass”

Compartment, train Donetsk - KievCompartment, train Donetsk – Kiev

Upper bed, train "Donbass"Upper bed, train “Donbass”

Kupe, "Donbass" Donetsk - KievKupe, “Donbass” Donetsk – Kiev

Luggage boxLuggage box

Control panel of the compartmentControl panel of the compartment

Train “Lviv”, Lviv – Kyiv

Renewed wagon train "Lviv"Renewed wagon train “Lviv”

Compartment train "Lviv"Compartment train “Lviv”

Bed and mattress, train  Lviv - KyivBed and mattress, train  Lviv – Kyiv

The toilets

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.

“Normal” wagons

Toilet, train "Donbass"Toilet, train “Donbass”

Sink, Ukrainian trainSink, Ukrainian train

WC train Lviv - DonetskWC train Lviv – Donetsk

Renewed wagons

Sink, train "Donbass"Sink, train “Donbass”

WC, train Donetsk - KievWC, train Donetsk – Kiev

Tickets:

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).

Example:

Kyiv-Lviv

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).

Notes:

-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:
http://en.ukrlandia.com.ua/train-tickets-ukraine

Videos of Ukrainian trains

Train “Zakarpattia” departing from Kiev:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k7Z4mN5Clg

Other types of Ukrainian trains

Elektrichka (Электричка) o Elektropoezd:
http://en.ukrlandia.com.ua/elektricka

Freight train in Donetsk:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhPAFR4myPk

Ukrainian train timetable

http://www.uz.gov.ua (only in Russian and Ukrainian)

Trains in Ukraine, Elektrichka (Электричка)

The Elektrichka (Электричка)is the typical Ukrainian local train. Called also elektropoezd (электропоезд) is popular on the short routes where it is possible to arrive at destination in few hours.

They are multiple unit trains and they don’t have sleeping cars but normal passengers cars of first and second class.

As always a significant difference is the age of the train. There are new Elektrichka called “comfort” and old ones that of comfortable have really very few…

Usually the newest Elektrichka are operative on the main lines as Dnipropetrovsk – Donetsk, and the other ones are more popular on less important routes.

Here are several photos of different Elektrichka (modern ones).

Elektrichka Dnipropetrovsk – Donetsk

An elektrichka at the Dnipropetrovsk's railway stationAn elektrichka at the Dnipropetrovsk’s railway station

Elektrichka's wagonsElektrichka’s wagons

Elektrichka Dnepropetrovsk - DonetskElektrichka Dnepropetrovsk – Donetsk

Elektrichka Kiev – Khmnelnitskiy

Elektrichka Kiev - KhmnelnitskiyElektrichka Kiev – Khmnelnitskiy

The elektrichka waiting in KievThe elektrichka waiting in Kiev

Elektrichka alla stazione di Kiev (Vydubichi) local service

Elektrichka at Vydubichi (Kiev)Elektrichka at Vydubichi (Kiev)

Elektrichka at Vydubichi (Kiev)Elektrichka at Vydubichi (Kiev)

Inside the wagons

The quality of wagons ad of the seats depend not only on the class but also on the kind of Elektrichka. You can find carriages with comfortable seats + small table and tv (if it works) and other ones with simple wooden seats.

Elektrichka Kiev – Khmnelnitskiy (inside the first class)

First class elektrichka Kiev - KhmnelnitskiyFirst class elektrichka Kiev – Khmnelnitskiy

Elektrichka, first class (notice TV)Elektrichka, first class (notice TV)

Elektrichka Dnepropetrovsk – Donetsk (First class)

Elektrichka's wagonElektrichka’s wagon

Elektrichka's seats. Dnepropetrovsk - DonetskElektrichka’s seats. Dnepropetrovsk – Donetsk

Having traveled on all these trains, we can say the elektrichka Kiev – Khmnelnitskiy was more comfortable than the one between Dnipropetrovsk – Donetsk even if from outside the second one looks better.

Toilets

The toilets of the Elektichka are not better than the ones of the overnight trains.
They only offer a simple faucet and a turkish WC and they are not even available on all carriages.

The WC of an elektrichkaThe WC of an elektrichka

Price of the tickets

They are quite cheap even if you chose the first class.
For the route Dnipropetrovsk – Donetsk we paid just 29 Hryvnia head (less than 2 euro).

At least for in the first class, you can’t sit where you want. Your place is booked when you buy the ticket.

Train timetable

http://www.uz.gov.ua (site in Russian and Ukrainian)

How to: Luggage deposit at the Kiev railway station

At the Kiev railway station, as in the all the main stations, it is possible to find a luggage deposit.

It is located underground and it is possible to get there from the underpass close to the station entrance (old side). See the photo.

Luggage room, Kiev railway station

From here you will get inside a long corridor with several “windows” where you can give your luggage and then take it back.

Before to leave your baggage, you must pay at the cashiers. (see photo)

Casher luggage room, Kiev raylway stationcashiers

Price
18 Hryvnia / day

Luggage roomone of the deposit windows

Once you have paid, go to the window and show the payment quittance. The man will take your luggage and will give you back some kind of plastic receipt which you will need to give back when you will take back your luggage.

Many people use this service so be ready for the possible queue.

A better way

If you don’t have a big baggage with you, you may try of this alternative system.

Go along the corridor until you will see this door:

To the safety boxes

From here you will get in a different area where it is possible to rent for several hours a safety box.

Safety boxes, Kiev railway stationthe corridor with the safety boxes

Pay at the cashiers (not the previous one), the woman will give you a token to use for to activate the safety box.

Casher safety boxes, Kiev raylway stationsafety box cashiers

Price
12 Hryvnia
The system work in this way:

1 Find an unused safety box (opened)
2 Write down the number of your safety box
3 Put the luggage inside your box
4 Insert the token
5 Setup a combination, 1 Cyrillic letter and 2 numbers
6 Close the door

Safety box, Kiev railway station

The Kiev funicular

In Kiev it is possible to find also a short funicular line which connect the area of the Saint Michael Cathedral (Михайлівський золотоверхий монастир, Mykhaylivs’kyi zolotoverkhyi monastyr) with the area of the metro station “Poshtova plosha, Поштова плоша”.

Model of the Kiev funicular

You can get there also by foot, but if you don’t want to walk or you just want to try something different then you can take the metro until “Poshtova plosha” and then you will see right in front of you the entrance of the funicular station.

Funicular station KievEntrance of the station near the metro “Poshtova plosha”

Inside the funicular station

Once inside you can buy a token at the cashier (Kassa, Касса). (1 token = 1 ride)

Funicolar token, KievOne token costs 1,50 Hryvnia.

Then pass the turnstile and go to the train.

The raid is very short and last just few minutes. Try to sit at the beginning (or at the end) of the train in order to take advance of the beautiful view on the Dnipro river.

Kiev funicolar in Winter

A train in the station, Kiev funicularOne of the two trains waiting for passengers in the station at the top of the funicular

Kiev funicular stationEntrance of the station near the Saint Michail Cathedral

Once arrived at destination you will be just at few steps from the Cathedral
Just outside the Kiev funicular (Michael Cathedral)What you see just coming out of the station.

Note

At the funicular line work in the same time two trains so, you have very few to wait between a train and the other one.

The two trains of the Kiev funicolar

Coming to Yaremcha

In Ukraine there is a well know holiday resort called Yaremcha which is located in the Ivano Frankivsk oblast in the very western part of Ukraine.

Yaremcha

You can reach Yaremcha by train:
606 К Lviv – Rahiv (львів – рахів)
Departing at 15.20 from Lviv and arriving in Yaremcha at 21.03 (Rahiv 23.58)

606 Л Rahiv – Lviv (рахів – львів)
Departing at 01.22 from Rahiv, arriving in Yaremcha at 04.15 (Lviv 10.10)

As you can see there are very few trains which operate on the Yarmecha’s route.
In winter is possibe to find more train but i can’t say it for sure.

Anyway if for example you came from Kyiv, or other cities not so close to Lviv, the best way to get there is through Ivano Frankivsk.

You can reach Ivano Frankivsk by train there is a plenty of train which goes there from almost every city.

Ivano Frankivsk railway station(Ivano Frankivsk’s railway station)

Then right out of the railway station, you will find a large number of busses and mashrutkas, you will not have much problems to find the one with the sign YAREMCHA or ЯРЕМЧА. (photo below)

Outside the railway station of Ivano Frankovsk
The bus will bring you to the bus station of Yaremcha. (photo below)

Yaremcha autobus station

From there you can easily reach your final destination by taxi or even by feet.

For to know about Yaremcha Bus timetable:

http://en.ukrlandia.com.ua/yarmecha-timetable