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I'm looking to travel between Kiev and Minsk next week by night train, however I'm not 100% sure on the dates. Is it reasonable to assume I'd be able to get a last-moment ticket or do Ukrainian trains often get sold out?

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    There are not so many trains in Ukraine nowadays and the amount of seats is limited. Then additionally you might prefer fast train (esp. "скорый", "фирменный") because the carriages of those are in better conditions. This limits the number of seats further. In general, you are interested to book the tickets as soon as your itinerary is available because running out of tickets is quite possible. I'd not rely on last moment tickets (and never do this myself). – Roman R. Sep 2 '16 at 16:36
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    @RomanR. perhaps it's still better to grab 2nd class in passenger train than 3rd class in "fast" train if offered for comparable money. – alamar Sep 2 '16 at 23:34
  • @alamar: on this particular route slower trains are not that slower, and cheaper - are not that cheaper. My personal preference and what I would suggest is train 086K which is presumably in better condition, cleaner and offers better service, then it goes overnight and one can sleep over the transfer time. – Roman R. Sep 3 '16 at 4:34
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I've never went on this particular route, but as a policy you should book post-Soviet long-distance trains in advance.

People used to book them month in advance, but now two weeks is usually sufficient off peak season.

It usually goes like this: people buy out cheaper and best tickets first, leaving only more expensive or less convenient ones as time passes. In my experience you're unlikely to be stuck hard without a ticket but totally possible to over-spend two times on a ticket (you'll get better class on posh train you could totally live without).

A few days (3?) before train departure an influx of available tickets might occur, as reserved seats and seats on passing-through trains became available for booking. If you like to gamble this might be an option.

How last-moment is your last moment? Be sure to monitor ticket situation every few days.

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