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I've written several times about my love for Russian Railways and trains. Numerous stories and photos about my train adventures in Russia have been published in the blog, and occasionally I receive questions from other travelers who come across my posts when doing Google searches. With increased popularity, comes increased attention. This is both a blessing and a curse. Even though I'm still relatively unknown on LJ, I receive dozens of messages and emails each month asking me questions about travel, American life, a few marriage proposals, and just creepy things written by strange men. Today, someone was researching train travel in Russia, and came across my story about the platzkart adventure to Kazan. The reader has traveled to Russia before and is embarking on another journey, this time taking a long train journey from Moscow to the Urals. He is concerned about sleeping with roaches! See the question below:

"Hi! I am taking another long train trip from Moscow to the Urals, I am opting for platzcart class - I like the openness *and* the price is nice! But, as I have never traveled to the Urals before, I am wondering what the train experience through there will be like. I tried doing a search on the train number (392У) and found a review that mentioned it was dirty and roach-ridden. So, as I have a deep, long standing phobia of roaches of any size, I am petrified, and have had nightmares about roaches since reading that review. So, I am writing to you to ask for your opinion - are roaches on trains common, in your experience? Have you taken the train to the Urals before? Where might I find more info. about the train I will be taking, and what can I do to prepare myself, besides bringing insect repellent?"

I haven't been to the Urals, or on this specific train (392У). Do you know it? Is it good or bad? Have you ever cuddled with roaches on an overnight train journey? :)) As a foreign traveler, it's sometimes difficult to search for and find English language information about specific Russian trains and routes. I think I must have been on one of the worst trains on my overnight journey to Kazan. Incredibly old, in disrepair, with horrible conductors and no food!  Honestly, I'm not sure which is worse - seeing a roach on the train, or a half-naked, sweaty old man sleeping in his underwear. :)) Please help my reader, and answer his questions about this train if you have information about its condition.
Большое спасибо! :)

Comments

( 184 comments — Leave a comment )
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worobioff_ku
Jul. 14th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
Шеннон!Доброго времени суток!Мой имя,Александр-много жил на Урале путешествовал и за это время в поездах РЖД не встречал тараканов.Поезд 392У-Москва -Челябинск неплохой маршрут и главное не прозевать Уральские горы у Златоуста...
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)
Okay, good! I'm glad my reader will travel in comfort on this long journey. I would like to visit the Urals, because I love mountainous regions. But I don't have the time or money now. Someday! :)
lolagetty
Jul. 14th, 2015 04:52 pm (UTC)
Hi! I spent my entire childhood riding the train several times a year and I've never seen a single cockroach there. I feel like they prefer living in more immobile places... What time of the year are you planning to travel? I'd be more worried about getting super hot on the train since they warm it up in the winter time to a ridiculous level or having to smell your neighbor's socks all night b/c of the way the sleeping benches are positioned.
Personally, I take repellents with me whenever I travel but I honestly don't remember ever seeing a roach on a train. Not saying there might not be any but I took the train at least twice a year for an 8 hour trip each way and I would remember seeing one b/c I'm terrified of them.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 04:55 pm (UTC)
I've also been on Russian trains many times, and have never seen an insect! :) This person will travel in a few weeks, so it will be hot and in the middle of summer. I do not like the heat, and always travel to Russia in winter because I love freezing temperatures and snow! However, I've never understood why train cars, restaurants, hotels and even apartments are soooo hot in Russia during the winter. They turn the heat on so high, I almost suffocate!! :))
(no subject) - lolagetty - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
yazularym
Jul. 14th, 2015 04:58 pm (UTC)
Hi, I can also confirm that I've never seen cockroaches on the train and never even heard about it :)
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 04:58 pm (UTC)
Good! How about half-naked men or women? Have you seen them? :)
(no subject) - yazularym - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yazularym - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yazularym - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jul. 14th, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yazularym - Jul. 14th, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
ms_sh
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:03 pm (UTC)
I have never met the roaches in the trains
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:04 pm (UTC)
What about other bugs? I thought most trains had air conditioners now, so that windows don't need to be opened in the heat of summer. But maybe I'm wrong.
(no subject) - ms_sh - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - procurator0 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
sergechel
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:05 pm (UTC)
Also there are 013У "South Ural" route, a bit more expensive, but more comfortable, with biotoilets.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC)
Biotoilets? Are they better than the normal toilets on Russian Railways? At the beginning of the train journey, the toilets are usually fine, but by the end they are a complete disaster and nightmare!
(no subject) - procurator0 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - procurator0 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sergechel - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sectopod - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sectopod - Jul. 14th, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sectopod - Jul. 14th, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 06:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sectopod - Jul. 14th, 2015 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
a_nimaida
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:09 pm (UTC)
Lies!

I have many years of travel and have never met in a train Taraki
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:12 pm (UTC)
I don't care about bugs, they don't bother me. :) I really hate when people kill ants, squash mosquitoes and bees, etc. I always try to push the insects away to another area or out of the window or door if they are bothering me. Not kill them. This traveler was just searching for information about the train, and he found only one article that said there were roaches. Whether it is true or not, I don't know. That's why I asked readers. :)
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - procurator0 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
procurator0
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:10 pm (UTC)
there should be no roaches in platzkart. no roach can possibly survive there.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:12 pm (UTC)
Haha! :)
radonis
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)

I have NEVER seen a roach on a train. Actually I haven't seen a roach in Russia in general as well...

peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC)
Really? Strange. In America, these bugs can be found almost everywhere. Maybe they're scared of Russia, or its cold winters. :))
(no subject) - sectopod - Jul. 14th, 2015 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - radonis - Jul. 14th, 2015 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jul. 14th, 2015 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - procurator0 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - radonis - Jul. 14th, 2015 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sergechel - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
harry_lloyd_3
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC)
Подтверждаю! За всё множество моих поездок, я никогда не встречал насекомых. Пусть человек не беспокоится.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC)
Отлично! Спасибо!
megawiz
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:31 pm (UTC)
>difficult to search for and find English language information about specific Russian trains
That's true, but I can give you a hint. Train (route) number encodes class of service. First digit 0 means better service and faster travelling because of less stops. These trains are called "СКОРЫЙ" (SKORIY) that means express train.
For example train 392У stops 41 times http://www.tutu.ru/poezda/view_d.php?np=dbb397c4
and 014Е stops only 20 times http://www.tutu.ru/poezda/view_d.php?np=bc1bcf
during the same route.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks, this is very helpful!
wojzeh
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:41 pm (UTC)
in fact I never saw them during my long history of railroad work and adventures.
what exactly do you mean by Ural? this is a huge region.
I spent a lot of time on the South Ural between Orenburg and Orsk.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:43 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure where he's going in the Urals. I think from Irkutsk to Таксим or Таксимо, but it was unclear. I didn't know you used to work on the railroad!
(no subject) - wojzeh - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Пьер Безухоff
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC)

Тараканы в российских поездах?
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)
Is this from the film "Dumber and Dumber?" :))
(no subject) - Пьер Безухоff - Jul. 14th, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Alex Winter
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC)
Я лично в ужасе от огромных американских тараканов
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, we have BIG cockroaches here! :)) In summer, there are many more insects than in winter time.
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jul. 15th, 2015 09:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
wojzeh
Jul. 14th, 2015 05:59 pm (UTC)
but bedbugs, this is another story...
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC)
I once had a mysterious skin rash after my visit to Palestinian villages. I think it was caused by bed bugs, or some other infestation in the unsanitary living conditions, but doctors never figured it out. I wrote a post about it. In the USA, there are sometimes "undercover" operations, using sensitive light equipment to show viewers all of the gross things in hotel rooms and beds. Better not to view. :))
(no subject) - wojzeh - Jul. 14th, 2015 09:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 15th, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wojzeh - Jul. 30th, 2015 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
onkel_hans
Jul. 14th, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC)
Roaches do not bite!
Why do people so hate them?

As a counselor to counselor, there is a romantic movie with Gary Oldman touching the Muscovian railroads.
It is banned in Muscovia but you can get it not violating the copyright in this country.
It is about a middle level KGB officer, a Hero of the Soviet Union (it's like the Congressional Medal of Honor) demoted to a private in momzerim (the Trash) because he had not denounced his wife. He is exiled reassigned in a remote town in Muscovia (I know this place even penetrated a military camp there and almost got caught). He is investigating a serial children murderer the existence of which is denied by the government.
The movie title is "Child 44".
peacetraveler22
Jul. 14th, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)
Never heard of it! Netflix to the rescue. :)
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 14th, 2015 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 14th, 2015 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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