I'm planning to go on holiday to Moscow Russia in April and would really like to see Saint Petersburg as well.

I've heard that there's a speed train which travels between the two cities, does anyone know how long is the journey and how often do these trains run(once,twice a day etc)

  • ICE3-like if you have driven before
    – greg121
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 14:39

3 Answers 3


It's called SAPSAN, there are 7 trains in both directions Saint-Petersburg > Moscow and Moscow > Saint-Petersburg.

Here is link to schedules (Google Translate)

Prices are here (translation). There are business and economy class tickets available.

The average journey is no longer than 4 hours in one direction. All trains serve every day except train 154 (runs only on Mondays and Saturdays).

  • 1
    It seems that sapsan.su is not an official ticket provider and has accrued a lot of bad rap from people who tried using it (see e.g. #1 and #2). It should be safer and easier to buy all railway tickets from the official RZD's website.
    – undercat
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 21:56

As Volodymyr mentioned, the train is called Sapsan, Russian for peregrine falcon. It is a Siemens-built high-speed train based on the ICE 3 running in Germany and Siemens calls it Velaro RUS. Some also serve the Moscow–Nizhnyi Novgorod relation.

You can use the site of Russian Railways to search for departure times and travel times. Look for the САПСАН text below the train number to identify them. Note that the departure times are not spread out across the day. Rather, there is a ‘morning cluster’, an ‘evening cluster’ and on some days, a ‘lunchtime cluster’. The journey time varies between 3:40 h and 4:05 h, probably depending on the number of stops on the way (didn’t check to confirm the hypothesis).

To board, be there timely at Moscow Leningradsky station, be prepared to have your luggage screened as if boarding a flight, and then present passport and ticket to the conductors when boarding as is the norm for Russian long-distance trains.

The train ride itself was very pleasant (I travelled with the cheapest option possible in late summer 2015) and a small meal was included (a sandwich or so if I remember correctly).

  • SPb-NN Sapsan runs once again AFAIK.
    – alamar
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 13:32
  • @alamar St. Petersburg–Nizhnyi Novgorod? Not Moscow–NN?
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 12:56
  • it's SPb - Moscow - NN @ 8H.
    – alamar
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 13:17
  • @alamar Ah, thanks, I was under the impression that they would be two different routes i.e. certain trains running eastwards and others northwestwards from Moscow!
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 13:26
  • there were plenty of fast trains between Moscow and NN even without Sapsan, such as aforementioned Talgo/Стриж.
    – alamar
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 13:57

There is also Nevskij Express.

It is more like classic Russian/European trains, cars of compartments with actual doors and 6 seats per compartment. I would argue there's more personal space. Ticket price is usually comparable to Sapsan. Departure time is not very convenient (it's a day train) but it's in demand. It takes 4:05h without any stops.

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