December 20, 2021

A Different Kind of Train Schedule


A Different Kind of Train Schedule
Moving in style, punctually. The Russian Life files

Traveling by train in Russia is a delight, if one marred by excessive Gogolian bureaucracy. Soon adding to that might be company-imposed times for using tables in cabins.

Russia's Ministry of Transport has recently proposed a plan to impose schedules on train riders for when they can use their compartment's table, in an effort to prevent train-borne conflicts from breaking out.

Travelers in second class—called "kupe" in Russian—typically stay in small four- to six-person rooms with bunks on either side, which fold to become seats and a table during the day, which is good, considering that Russian train rides can literally last for multiple days.

When all members of a compartment know each other, it's no big deal to share and share alike. But maybe a little sharing regime would be helpful when dealing with ornery strangers. After all, folks on the lower bunks have easier access to the table, but have better places for sitting, while people on top bunks can't reach the table, but have (marginally) more privacy.

This also brings into question new pricing scales, which will likely have to be assessed alongside the table-sharing plan. Currently the idea is up for public comment and would go into effect in September of 2022.

Other proposed measures include the creation of female-only compartments, male-only compartments, and child-only seats, as well as regulations that limit one pair of skis and a single snowboard per passenger.

Which is all fine and good, but can they go to space?

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