Trip from Moscow to Paris by train (51 photos)
October 25, 2013 11:24.
The train departs from the Belorussian station three times a day, early in the morning. I myself have not traveled by train for a long time, the last time – in the winter of 2011 in Minsk, from the same station.
A few dry facts: The Moscow-Paris train has been going about two years, but it is not as untwisted as its “colleague” following to Nice, it was a reconstruction of the legendary and still pre-revolutionary train (although he used to go from another capital, from St. Petersburg ). The Paris train makes three stops in the capitals: Minsk, Warsaw, Berlin. Actually, almost all the passengers go not to France, but somewhere along the way. This is not a magical tourist train, but an ordinary trip. There are other international railway routes from Russia. In the train there are two types of cars and three classes: luxury, first and second. I traveled in the “very-very”, and I had a separate compartment. As I already wrote, it is rather a small room in a hotel, with all the amenities.
Wardrobe with hangers, disposable slippers and bathrobes. A radio tape recorder is a convenient piece, you can put your CD, listen to the radio or turn on a USB flash drive with music or video, then you will see a movie on TV.
The sofa turns into a comfortable one and a half bed. Buying a ticket to the “luxury” car you pay for the number, that is with you can go the second person for almost the same price. And another child under ten. The whole family will get along: parents on the “big” bed, a child on the top shelf. Single accommodation, as in hotels, will be a bit more expensive. By the way, pensioners and passengers from 12 to 26 years are entitled to a 30% discount.
Did you notice the door in the compartment? She leads to a personal bathroom. Toilet is bio, you do not have to endure any more of the last energy while the train is at the station. A crane with a sensor is much more convenient than holding a button with one hand and trying to wash something with another. Only one thing is interesting, how much more water is in the car? After all, the toilets in each compartment and another common one are there.
Shower cabin. This is probably one of the most pleasant moments on the train. The Vodka is warm, flowing harmoniously.
Towels, paper and disposable,
You choose when to turn off or turn on the light. What is most annoying even in compartment Soviet cars is the lack of a full-fledged lighting control. There are three brightness modes, there is a personal night light. And the call button for the explorer.
The doors of the compartment are locked with a key. Again, what a contrast with the old wagons hailing from the USSR. Personal locks not only in the suite, but also in ordinary wagons.
In the suite there are only four compartments, the rest of the car is occupied by a bar. In the Moscow-Paris structure there are two such cars, sometimes a third one.
While I was taking a tour of the car, we departed quite enough from Moscow and found ourselves in the Smolensk region. The first stop is Vyazma.
Do you see the difference between the cars? Brest is followed by trailers, all familiar, they are a little higher. “Paris” – European type and “lower growth.”
In Vyazma a long stop, half an hour. Why is it necessary at such a small station? It is necessary to change the locomotive. From Moscow we were dragged here this blue, and red, in the background, already puffing … .oy, this is not a locomotive! But still puffing!
Why change the electric locomotive? Usually there are two reasons: the voltage difference in the network or the “home port”. In total, along the route, we were hauled by five locomotives: from Moscow to Vyazma, from Vyazma to Brest, further the Polish “head” to Berlin, then the Germans to Strasbourg, and there the French took the baton.
Locomotive teams change much more often. I do not even know how many machinists have changed, but many, twice in two more than trains. They work “on turnover”, reach a conditional border and change to another train, lead it in the opposite direction. Do not go away so far from home.
And we continue to move.
“Ordinary” car, here passengers of the first and second class go. Except for luxury, all the rest are like that. And the ticket here is much cheaper. You can meet 10-12 thousand rubles. Against more than 40 for a suite.
Inside is almost the same sofa, which is laid out in shelves. In the afternoon it turns into three armchairs. Why three? The difference between the first and second class is that in one case the layout is two people, in the other – three. The coupe itself is the same.
Tea in traditional iron cup holders. The most recognizable “railway thing”. Show who this thing, any person in our country, he immediately says that this is from the train.
In the cupboards there is a decanter and three glasses. Drink for free 🙂 No, it’s not vodka, but ordinary water. Here are the rosettes. There are two outlets in the suite, one here. Well, a lot in the corridor.
Three-seater compartment in the “disassembled” form. It seems to me that the trailer loses in this Soviet.
There is also a shower here, but one on the car.
Have you seen the old wagons of electric trains painted like a can of condensed milk? So we are in Belarus. We have no such ancient mammoths. And at every Belarusian station good-natured, but annoying aunts and grandmothers who pester you: hot corn, cold beer, baklava-makhlava, potatoes, pancakes, vodka!
The first Belarusian parking is the city of Orsha. Here, the locomotive team is changing. Russian engine drivers will return to Vyazma, the Belarusian drivers will drive our electric locomotive right up to Brest. At such moments, you understand what is our allied state with our neighbors. And then, apart from the absence of the border, the philistine is not clear.
agon-restaurant. Where without it. Charming young ladies carry orders for wagons, the car itself is almost empty all the time. No drunken intimate conversations with strangers, no bottles of vodka from under the floor! I forgot to take a picture of our dining car, and then it was too late. Because in Brest it is changed to a Polish car. But here you have samples of food on a tray of a girl. Prices – Moscow, a solid dinner (without alcohol) of three dishes and a drink you will cost 900-1000 rubles. And here they accept plastic cards! Poles – do not accept. Well at least there in euros, not in zlotys.
My favorite city is Minsk. I do not know why I love him. It seems to be totally Soviet and boring, but very cozy and almost native. Here, too, a big stop, about half an hour. Nobody changes, just a lot of passengers get out at this station, also many Belarusians get into the cars. Who goes to Poland, who is before Germany.
This time I stayed a little bit in the Belarusian capital. Waved a pen to familiar places, I’ll see you again! Further to Brest I photographed from the window, and then snored under the tapping of the wheels. Pleasant business. I do not understand people who can not sleep on the train? It’s so easy, you also get enough sleep. Of course, we are not talking about a second-class car in the summer, when drunk dumb-bills are walking on either side of you ….
I woke up from strange tremors. I look out the window – we are standing in some kind of room. Train cars are disengaged, stand alone. Is such a serious passport control so that no one runs away?
No, it’s a joke, of course. The border is divided into two stages, but completely without straining. First come Belarusians, collect passports. They will be returned later. I ask to put a stamp on a certain page. Was very pleasantly surprised when the seal was exactly where I asked, despite the hundreds of passports of other passengers! Then Poles, they have laptops with them, officers scan their passports, check something and immediately put a stamp. Customs officers of both countries look in the toilet, they ask who is carrying with them. The Belarusian, seeing the camera on the table, asked if it was necessary to declare it. No, I do not, I say, it’s second-hand and my personal. “Well, if it costs more than 1500 euros ….” I urge that it is not worth it. Although in fact – more, and it’s good that he did not see another camera with the TV, she was lying in a backpack. On automobile and aviation borders, such stupidities are not asked.
So what happens in the shop? The cars uncouple, lift on powerful jacks and begin to “change their shoes.” Have you heard, perhaps, that Russia has its own, special way? Here you can look at this path. In the CIS countries the width of the railway track is wider than in Europe. They say that it has been so since the tsarist times that “the enemy did not pass.” We, too, do not pass, therefore in Brest always trolleys of wheel pairs change.
The process is curious, all passengers who do not sleep, always look out of the windows and take pictures. The carriages are raised with us. For some reason, they are not allowed to go out, referring to security techniques, but this does not prevent the same Belarusian aunts from wearing their draniki in their bags and offering to buy food from them for any money and in any currency.
Passengers of the next car. Unfortunately, everyone was very shy and did not want to be photographed. This is sadness. Although chatting was not against, they told how and why they were on this train. The absolute majority goes to Germany. These are emigrants who sometimes return to ponostalgia, and aerobics … Who goes to the suites? Together with me to Paris, in the next compartment, was a middle-aged woman, apparently an inhabitant of Rublevka. But in fact it was not at all pretentious, but nice and smiling, the appearance is deceptive. She goes to Paris for work almost twice a month, and always by this train. All the guides already know it. My neighbor is just one of those who are afraid of flying. Before, there were no problems, but a year ago she suddenly became frightened of turbulence and left the plane a minute before take-off, causing inconvenience to other passengers. And since then – just a train. For such people it is, of course, a way out. From Paris, and from Berlin, you can continue the journey by rail to anywhere in Europe.
The procedure for changing wheel pairs takes two hours. Then the cars are “collected” back into the train. You can go to Poland.
In a soft wide bed it slept so well that I woke up only once, just as the train was standing at the station “Warsaw Central”. Nothing interesting around, it’s dark and nothing is visible. I’ll look at the Polish capital some other time.
Finally I woke up at eight in the morning, already in Berlin. We noticed that here, like in Warsaw, the station reminds something of a Metro underground rather than a traditional open-air station.
Here, too, the locomotive was changed. I was in the last car, but I was in the first.
Outside the window, real beauty began!
I went to breakfast in the Polish restaurant car. I liked it more for the interior, it’s hard to say about food, and there it was delicious, and my request not to put greens on was understood the first time. Someone from the readers asked to tell about the menu, what is fed? Here are the squeezes. Breakfast is served free of charge, you can choose an omelette from three eggs with ham and cheese, Frankfurt sausages, English breakfast (this fried egg and all sorts of ham / sausages, bread and butter). But the main menu: three types of soups – cream of champignons (4 euros), beef soup with beef with dumplings (5), cream of lobsters with sour cream and croutons (8). Meat, the most important thing! Breaded pork chop (11 euros), pork tenderloin with pesto sauce (16), chicken breast stuffed with bacon (14), steak with vegetables (18), salmon (16). And for special gourmets there are toad paws (18 euros per serving) and a kangaroo steak for 23 euros!
I noticed that all electric locomotives, which we were carrying, were tattered with life. What’s ours, what’s Polish, what’s German. Lampochka Ilyich! The French have the same thing. Most likely this is because there are almost no night trains in Europe, now there are high-speed ICE and TGV.
Frankfurt am Main, one of the largest business cities in the world. The station has some weak, I imagined otherwise. Well, at least become a Berlin station.
The town of Colog is the last before the French border. Technical parking a few minutes. Most likely, they also change the machinist here. All this reminds, as in the olden times horses were changed not to drive 🙂
The first thing I saw in France! Rejoice, lovers of pictures about “decaying Europe”. And do not blame me for bias, I show what is. In fact, when traveling by rail through a bunch of countries, even familiar places open up on the new side. The areas adjacent to the tracks are always some strange. Those are factories, sometimes abandoned … and not only here, but everywhere.
It’s all right, bel France is here! These traditional windows can not be confused with anything else!
The last stop is in front of Paris.
Here, too, change the locomotive. Finishing straight.
People at the station watch the train in an unfamiliar coloring with interest. Three times a week, once a day – still not such a frequent guest.
Nosach-Tezhve is on the next road. He will go to the beautiful city of Bordeaux, drink sweet white wines! And I want to believe that someday this will come to us. How do you like the idea, about ten hours from Paris to Moscow? But it will not be soon, the width between the rails is different, again …
Probably, it is necessary to say a few words about people who work on the train “Moscow-Paris”. First of all, of course, about conductors. They are friendly and smiling, but very shy. Hardly persuaded two people to pose for a photo. “I’m not made up,” “I did not shave,” “My husband will scold” – and the like. This is not a problem of conductors, this is our mentality. And each of you, in such a situation, too, would most likely have embarrassed and refused. Your right, but people who are not afraid of the camera, almost always turn out well in photos. We photographers do not bite! 🙂
Even the longest way ends up someday and somewhere. My railway trip in France ended on the evening of the second day at the Eastern Station of Paris. Having unloaded the passengers, the train went to the depot. The conductors will spend the night in Paris, and the next morning they will go back to Moscow.
Trip from Moscow to Paris by train (51 photos)