Boarding on double-decker train in Russia, source: Russian Railways (RZD)

What Russian passengers do when travelling by train?

Almost half of the passengers travelling by train across Russia prefer to watch films. What does another half do? And what things do the passengers forget in Russian trains?

In April the Federal Passenger Company, a dedicated subsidiary of Russian Railways (RZD), has carried out a survey of customer habits. According to the unveiled results, 48 per cent of passengers watch films during their train journeys. Around 40 per cent prefer to read electronic books and 13 per cent listen to music, audiobooks or podcasts. All the content is available on the ‘Poputchik’ (Fellow traveller in Russian) onboard multimedia library. The passengers are able to connect to it via the Wi-Fi network, the multimedia system is free of charge.

As for the devices, the passengers use smartphones in the vast majority of cases (86 per cent). The remaining share of customers uses laptops or tablets. Since the beginning of the current year, more than 250,000 people connected to the digital portal.

Favourite books

The ‘Poputchik’ multimedia library was launched in July 2017. Since that time, ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was read by the passengers most often. The top three list of the most popular electronic books also includes ‘The Case Notes of Sherlock Holmes’ by Arthur Conan Doyle and ‘The Jungle Book’ by Rudyard Kipling.

The Federal Passenger Company is constantly extending its onboard electronic library with the new items. At the end of April, it uploaded more than 500 new books into the system. Among them are ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, ‘A Hero of Our Time’ by Mikhail Lermontov, ‘Love of Life’ by Jack London and others.

Forgotten belongings

There is another habit of Russian passengers. As ordinary people, they use to forget their things at the trains. To tackle this issue, the Federal Passenger Company launched a dedicated lost-and-found service for finding forgotten belongings. It is available for customers starting from the beginning of March 2019. Since that time, the passengers have managed to return around 20,000 forgotten things.

Most often the passengers forget their own clothes, tablets, e-books, telephones, watches, headphones and chargers. However, there are some extraordinary findings in the trains such as removable dentures, fluorography, an inflatable bed, an electric plane, iron and even a wedding dress. In addition, there were several forgotten musical instruments including domra and ukulele.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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