Given Russia’s huge territory, Russian railways are a true cultural phenomenon rather than just a means of transport. Leisurely train travel is certainly worth trying as it’s less expensive than going by plane and far safer than car travel. The railroad network covers most of the country and connects all the former Soviet republics with each other. Keep in mind though that in big cities choosing a destination may also mean choosing a station to depart from. This guide takes you through Moscow’s nine railway stations and the routes they serve.
Kazansky railway station
Moscow’s busiest square is apparently Komsomolskaya Ploshchad, aka Three Station Square. In this location, you’ll find the first three railway terminals from this guide. The Kazansky terminal, with 130,000 people passing through every day, serves two directions. The eastbound line goes to Kazan, Yekaterinburg, and beyond to the Trans-Siberian Railway connecting Moscow with Vladivostok. The south-east-bound line branches beyond Ryazan and heads further east to Central Asia through Samara and Chelyabinsk or south to Sochi and the Caucuses.
Leningradsky railway station
The oldest railway station in Moscow, the Leningradsky terminal serves the north-western directions, notably Saint Petersburg. This is the hub for Sapsan, Red Arrow, and Grand Express trains connecting Moscow to Russia’s northern capital. Other domestic trains can take you to Veliky Novgorod, Murmansk, and Pskov, while international routes include Tallinn and Helsinki. High-speed commuter trains operate on Moscow–Tver, and Moscow–Zelenograd routes with major stops in Khimki, Solnechnogorsk, and Klin.
Yaroslavsky railway terminal
The busiest in Moscow, it harbors 300 long-distance trains and the passenger traffic reaches up to 250,000 passengers daily. For that matter, the terminal is conveniently connected to the Komsomolskaya metro station and other two terminals at the Three Stations Square by pedestrian underpasses. The longest railway lines radiating from Moscow begin at the Yaroslavsky terminal. The north-east-bound route runs to Yaroslavl, Arkhangelsk, Perm, and further north. The east-bound one crosses Siberia and reaches Beijing, Ulan Bator, and Vladivostok.
Kursky railway station
The Kursky station got its enormous airport-like building in 1972. Today, it offers numerous shops and services like a luggage room, a baby care room and a first-aid post. It’s a transit station, not a terminus, and trains arrive here from many directions, for example, high-speed Strizh connects Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod via Vladimir and then continues to Berlin via Minsk and Warsaw. The south-bound line that can take you to Rostov-on-Don and the Caucuses passes through Kharkov in Ukraine. Commuter trains run to Podolsk, Tula, Pavlovsky Posad, etc.
Kiyevsky railway station
Aeroexpress to Vnukovo
This station is located right by the Moskva River. The Kiyevsky railway station serves the south-west-bound line, mainly to Ukraine. International trains depart to Kyiv, Odessa, Lviv, and further to Chisinau in Moldova. Domestic destinations include Bryansk and Anapa. Suburban commuter trains connect Kiyevsky terminal with the towns of Nara-Fominsk, Obninsk, and Maloyaroslavets.
It’s also an Aeroexpress hub linking the city to Vnukovo airport.
Belorussky railway station
Aeroexpress to Sheremetyevo
The Belorussky station is the starting point for rail links branching to the cities west of Moscow, including Smolensk, Kaliningrad, Minsk, Brest and further to Europe. The north-east-bound trains go to historic Uglich, while the south-bound ones can take you to the Black Sea coast through Tula, Voronezh, and Rostov-on-Don. Suburban train service continues to Odintsovo, Mozhaisk, and Zvenigorod.
Aeroexpress will take you to Sheremetyevo airport in half an hour from this train station. If you are flying with Aeroflot, you can register and drop off the luggage right there.
Paveletsky railway station
Aeroexpress to Domodedovo
Thanks to central location, Paveletsky is one of Moscow’s main railway stations. Trains arrive from the south-east of Russia, namely Volgograd, Saratov, and Astrakhan. International routes lead to Almaty and Baku.
Aeroexpress connects the station to Domodedovo airport.
Rizhsky railway station
The station serves the north-west-bound direction only. Interestingly, all the destinations are an absolute must visit – Pskov, Velikiye Luki and Riga, as well as Saint Petersburg.
Apart from being an active station it also houses the Moscow Railway Museum. First, you’ll see the open air exhibition of more than 60 locomotives and cars and then a retro-train will take you to the Krasny Baltiets platform where you’ll visit the 1901 depot.
Savyolovsky railway station
The less busy of Moscow’s stations, it serves the suburban destinations only, but it has a connection to the Belorussky railway station. Commuter trains make trips to Dmitrov, Dubna, Zvenigorod, Golitsino. There’s an express to Lobnya via Dolgoprudny.