Psychology of travelPsychology of travel

Train travel: archaic or a trend?


The railway is one of the most traditional ways to move from point A to point B. Perhaps there is not a person who has not ridden trains at least once in his life and has not experienced all the romance of the sound of wheels and the lulling rocking of the train.

Railway History

Steam locomotive, Pescara, Italy

The world's first public railway was built in 1825 in England by George Stephenson. It was located between Stockton and Darlington, the length of the main line was 40 km, and the trains were driven by a steam-powered locomotive.

The history of railways in Russia began in 1834. Then Franz von Gerstner, an Austrian and Czech engineer, was invited to St. Petersburg. So, in 1837, the grand opening of the first passenger railway in Russia, which ran between St. Petersburg, Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsky, took place in St. Petersburg.

Today, railway communication in Russia is carried out by the de facto monopolist of the industry, JSC Russian Railways.

The standard width of the railway track in Russia is 1520 mm. The European standard is 1435 mm. The Indian gauge, the standard of which is used by some countries, including Argentina – 1676 mm, the Iberian gauge (Spain, Portugal) – 1676 mm. The Kama gauge has a width of 1067 mm and is used in South and Central Africa, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, New Zealand, and partly Australia. And the meter gauge is 1000 mm in Southeast Asia, partly in India, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Kenya, Uganda.

The advantages of traveling by train

Trains do not violate the environment

The railway is considered the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. For some, this parameter is crucial!

The railway transport network is very extensive, and the infrastructure of railway lines sometimes reaches very inaccessible areas. Airports and bus stations are far from everywhere, but railway platforms, stations and train stations can be found everywhere.

The ticket price is relatively low. An air ticket or a bus ticket may cost more than a train ticket.

The weight of luggage and hand luggage. Each passenger has the right to carry free hand luggage weighing no more than 36 kg, and for sleeping cars up to 50 kg.

When traveling by night express, you do not have to worry about a restful sleep – a night on the train helps to observe the regime and a comfortable body position, compared with traveling by plane or bus.

Freedom of movement in the carriage. On the train you can stand, walk, lie down, children even manage to run! The space is limited, but it will allow you to stretch if you stay too long.

Soft passport control – trains do not need to go through the check-in procedure and other border measures. It is enough to present the ticket to the conductor and go to your seat.

Free access to the train from the platform

Most railway stations are located directly in the city centers. You can go sightseeing right away, leaving your luggage in the luggage room.

Fixed ticket prices, rarely depending on holidays and weekends. The purchase of a ticket on the day of departure may be equal in value to the one purchased in advance.

Aerophobia and a complex of symptoms of fear of confined spaces, heights, crowds of people and strangers are usually the least common on trains.

And from the windows of the train you can admire the magnificent scenery

According to statistics, there are significantly fewer cases of late or delayed flights on the railway than in the aviation industry. Train schedules are clearly coordinated.

Even if you miss the train, you can use transit routes to reach your destination after a short period of time. Trains leave quite often, even intercity ones.

Unlimited food and drinks. Oh, yes! You can get any number of products on the train, the main thing is to have time to consume perishable food until it has deteriorated without observing the temperature regime. Moreover, passengers are almost always provided with dining cars and a mobile trolley with snacks and drinks.

Classic cup holder on Russian trains

Tea in a cup holder, the sound of wheels and landscapes outside the window are the traditional companions of the traveler and a real train romance! Traveling by train calms, soothes and immerses in the amazing state of the road.

Disadvantages of railway transport

Romantic drops on train windows

The length of the journey. It's no secret that trains, with their colossal advantages, are still "slow" transport. Sometimes a trip can take several days and if your two–week vacation is spent in a carriage, then you are an incorrigible romantic, but traveling for the sake of traveling is rare.

The interior of the wagons and the age of the trains. Although all modern railway companies are striving to upgrade their rolling stock, the condition of some trains or wagons remains unsatisfactory. The reason for this is the large passenger traffic and the high exploitation of these vehicles. For the most part, this applies to domestic trains, the level of service in European countries differs significantly.

Old trains can still often be found when going on a trip

Types of wagons. If you are familiar with the concept of a reserved seat, then you understand that travel in the company is provided for you. Sometimes even complete strangers. Often, the owners of the upper and side shelves strive to sit down at the common table and then have to squeeze in. If a short-distance trip is provided, then you can put up with it and have fun, but if your journey takes several days, then you should consider options for more comfortable carriages such as a compartment or a sleeping car (SV).

Sounds and smells. The regulars of traveling on trains in reserved carriages know which places will be critical for walking, slamming doors and foreign odors. We are talking about the first and last compartments and places near the vestibule.

Second-class carriages in China.

The temperature regime. Air-conditioned trains have the ability to regulate the air supply at any time of the year. But not all wagons have this function. Sometimes you can get very warm from an uncontrolled furnace, or cool down from too sudden a temperature drop. Stale air can also affect, and then the first stop where you can get on the platform and breathe will be the salvation.

Strikes. In the European Union, railway employees go on strike on a regular basis. Train schedules are changing, flights are being postponed, and routes are being rebuilt. One plus is that a strike is usually pre-manifested, so it does not happen spontaneously.

Which seats to choose on the train

A compartment on the soon-to-be-branded Tomich train with the Tomsk - Moscow connection

The ranking according to the degree of comfort in general–purpose trains from smaller to larger in Russia is as follows: a common carriage – a reserved seat – a compartment - a sleeping car. If the road is going to be long, then you should think about the "best" places in the cars.

In reserved carriages, the top and side shelves in the last compartment near the toilet have the worst rating. Also, on long trips, you should avoid the 3rd and 6th compartments, where emergency exits are located, so the windows do not open.

In winter, it is better to choose seats in the center of the car, then the doors open at the stops will not help to cool the car.

Seats in a long-distance railway carriage in Russia

The standard length of the side shelf is 176 cm, the transverse one is 167 cm, tall people should take this factor into account, the legs will not fit anyway. On the one hand, it is uncomfortable for the passenger himself, on the other – for people traveling around the car. And the shelves under the seat numbers 1, 2, 35, 36 are shortened by another 15 cm. There are also nuances with the width: the lower "sidewall" is already 5 cm transverse, and the upper one is 7 cm.

Places closer to the conductor's compartment in the reserved seat are considered "crown": dragging luggage nearby and traveling with glasses of boiling water will be reduced. The toilet at the beginning of the carriage, characteristically, is cleaned more diligently than the far one, and there is even an outlet in the second compartment.

Railway cruises

The format of tourist trains is not the traditional route from point A to point B. A railway cruise is a journey on a comfortable train, which is not just a vehicle, but also a mobile hotel, restaurant and entertainment center with excursions and shows.

To date, dozens of cruise routes have been developed in Russia. The interior of such trains can be designed in a certain style, and the menu of restaurant cars will feature themed dishes with verified recipes from famous chefs.

The Golden Eagle

The arrangement of such trains differs from the standard ones: they will have a bio toilet, sockets in free access, a gym room, showers, massage and cosmology rooms and even spa centers! The service is also excellent, consider that you are in a mobile hotel on wheels, where any of the standard services will be available.

Cruise train routes run through interesting cities and picturesque landscapes. The train can make a stop, and travelers can walk with a guide and take pictures. The ticket price often includes excursions, meals and other amenities.

Restaurant of the Golden Eagle train

The routes of railway cruises are usually circular, but there are exceptions. So, the Russian cruise train "Golden Eagle" follows from Moscow to Vladivostok.

Examples of affordable rail cruises in Russia: "Belarusian Voyage", "Silver route with a visit to Pechora and Izborsk", tour "To Karelia in winter", "Tales of the Volga region" and many others. Tours are usually themed: historical, gastronomic, tourist, ethnic, seasonal. Any traveler will find a lot of interesting and informative things for himself!


March 19, 2024 03:34 pm



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