What time zone do trains in Russia operate on? Does it make a difference between long-haul trains, electric commuter trains or international trains?

  • 2
    Why do you use the adjective electric for commuter trains, as if long-haul trains or international trains aren't electric?
    – gerrit
    Jul 10, 2018 at 10:35
  • 19
    Because commuter trains are called электрички in Russian Jul 10, 2018 at 11:01
  • 8
    Transliteration for those unfamiliar with Russian Cyrillic: электрички ~= elektrichki, roughly "electrical ones."
    – 0xdd
    Jul 10, 2018 at 14:05
  • @Jules is that an adjective or a noun? In Slovak its električky (pl. noun for a tram) or elektrický as adj. with a meaning electrical.
    – Kyslik
    Jul 10, 2018 at 16:42
  • @Kyslik Noun. The adjective is slightly different - электрическ(ий/ая) ~= elektrichesk(iy/aya)
    – Ordous
    Jul 10, 2018 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


All trains in Russia for years have operated on Moscow time.

It's only slightly unsettling when you get to your train in Yekaterinburg and find out it's not there, but the upside is most of Russia is ahead of Moscow in terms of timezones, so worst case you'll arrive early, rather than late.

However, it now appears that is changing as of August 1, 2018 (source):

Tickets for journeys from 1st August, which can be purchased from 4th May, will be printed to display arrival and departure times in local times, however, tickets before this date will still show arrival and departure times in Moscow time.

Train stations will continue to have clocks that display both Moscow and local time for the current time.

Seat61 confirms this:

RZD (Russian Railways) has announced that for travel dates from 1 August onwards it will abandon the long-standing practice of using Moscow Time for trains throughout Russia. It will finally switch to using local time, with the difference from Moscow Time in brackets, for example (MCK +5), in its timetables and on its website. Phew!

This is for intercity trains. Local commuter / suburban trains (eg in Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg) operate on local time.

  • 4
    Didn't the clocks in Russian train stations use to have, in the analog days, three hands? Two for different hours and one for the minutes?
    – user67108
    Jul 10, 2018 at 8:00
  • 1
    @dda not that I recall, but I could be mistaken
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 10, 2018 at 8:14
  • 2
    I'll be visiting the westernmost part of Russia which lags behind Moscow, where arriving the station LATE is a real problem. and I will be traveling near the end of July. Jul 10, 2018 at 10:58
  • 1
    @MichaelTsang well then as the links say, it'll still be on Moscow time at that point.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 10, 2018 at 11:34
  • 1
    This is NOT correct for suburban trains which operate in local time.
    – Neusser
    Jul 10, 2018 at 13:49

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