Speaking of great programs across Europe and the world, in Russia kids can use concessional travel on trains at half the normal price beginning July 1st. Some 2.5 million Russian children aged 10 to 17 years will benefit according to the head of the Federal Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov.
Russian Railways has just commissioned “Swift” express rail services in between Moscow and Berlin. The streamlined new train makes use of Spanish coaches equipped for rapid exchange of wheels designed for Russian-European gauge tracks.
In transportation news, Russian Railways will launch an all new passenger route between Moscow and St. Petersburg that will showcase new two-storey rail cars. The first voyage is scheduled for this evening, Sunday February 1st.
News sources this week suggest Russian Railways and some other Russian state run companies may have imposed bans on foreign travel. According to the news, companies in Russia hit by western sanctions allegedly dissuaded employees from visiting countries outside Russia.
Since we reported on the Russia-Finland Free Visa issue, visitors to the Russian Federation via high speed rail have increased by 22 percent over the same period a year ago. According to the news, some 100,600 rail passengers traveled between Finland and Russia in the first quarter of 2011.
The door for visa-free travel between Russia and Finland was opened on Sunday as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Finnish President Tarja Halonen officially opened a high speed rail service between St. Petersburg and Helsinki. The two leaders seemed positive about at least limited free-visa travel between the two countries. A positive outcome for rail between the two could well speed EU and Russian Federation talks to open up travel to Russia.