Several categories of citizens of the Russian Federation have the right to concessionary travel by rail. Among them are children. Part of the cost of purchasing a ticket for young passengers is borne by the state. And some of them, depending on their age, can count on completely free travel.
What is the children's tariff of Russian Railways and who can ride it
According to the internal Charter of JSC Russian Railways, all passengers aged from 0 to 10 years fall under the category of "children". If the child is less than 5 years old, he has the right to travel by train completely free of charge, but only on condition that he shares one seat with the accompanying adult. Please note that only one toddler under 5 years old can travel on the train for free with one adult. If there are more children, there are two options for solving the problem. Either their tickets are issued with other adults (for example, one child with one parent, the other with another), or tickets are purchased with a 35-50% discount of the full price.
Passengers from 5 to 10 years old have the right to purchase a ticket at the so-called children's fare. It is equal to 35-50% of the cost of a full ticket. A child ticket has its own baggage and carry-on baggage allowance, just like an adult ticket.
As soon as a child turns 10, he is considered an adult from the point of view of Russian Railways. This means that children over this age must travel on the train at the full rate. Railway workers classify passengers from 10 to 17 years old as “schoolchildren and pupils of educational institutions”. Certain benefits are provided for them, but they were not valid in all regions of Russia and only in the period from September to May. This was until 2016, when the Russian government recommended that Russian Railways provide a discount to all children from 10 to 17 years old, regardless of where they live. Now the child fare applies to such passengers. It is known that the action is temporary in nature, but the timing of its completion has not yet been determined.
Please note that this only applies to schoolchildren. Students purchase tickets at the full rate, there are no benefits for them.
The final cost of a travel document for children does not only depend on the age of the child. The category of the train, the type of carriage and the direction of the route are also important. Thus, a discount can be obtained when traveling in general, seated and reserved carriages of fast trains, including branded ones, in domestic traffic. Benefits are not provided on high-speed and high-speed trains 701-788 numbering. These include "Sapsans" on the route Moscow-St. Petersburg. In suburban trains, benefits are provided only for children under 7 years old. Pupils and students are eligible to purchase preferential subscriptions. In this case, the discount will be 50%.
You can get a discount ticket for a child not only at the box office. But even when ordering online on the official website of Russian Railways and other ticket aggregators.
How to correctly determine the age of the child to calculate the Russian Railways discount
Now in Russian Railways there are three gradations of the reduced fare for young passengers:
- from 0 to 5 years old;
- from 5 to 10 years old;
- from 10 to 17 years old.
The age of the child is determined at the time of the start of the trip. So, if he turns 10 years old only on the way, the ticket is purchased as for a 9-year-old. Please note that the “0-5 years old” category includes those children who are under 5 years old. By analogy, “from 5 to 10 years old” are children who have already turned 5, but not yet 10.
What documents do children need to buy a discount ticket for Russian Railways
To confirm your eligibility for a discount, you must have a number of documents with you. It is mandatory to provide:
- children under 14 years old - a birth certificate (a notarized copy is allowed);
- children from 14 years old - a passport;
- instead of a certificate and a Russian passport - the child's passport.
In the absence of the latter, the parent's passport is also suitable, but the child must be entered into it. In addition to a birth certificate or passport, the ticket clerk has the right to request a certificate from an educational institution for children aged 10 to 17 years. Russian Railways has special requirements for its registration. It must be the original, not a copy. The certificate must indicate the date of issue and the number of the document, the name of the child, the director's signature and the seal.
Traveling in Russia: what are the benefits of Russian Railways for children
Children from 0 to 5 years old
Children under 5 years old are entitled to free travel if they do not occupy a separate seat. Children under 10 years of age can use the same right in luxury carriages. In any case, they still need to issue a ticket, otherwise problems may arise when boarding the train. The conductor has no right to let a stowaway passenger into the carriage. This rule also applies to children. If you forgot to indicate a child under 5 years old when ordering a ticket on the website, please do so at the train station ticket office before the train departs.
If the parent wants the child to have a seat, a ticket can be purchased. In this case, its cost will be 35-50% of the full tariff. It all depends on the type of train and route.
Children from 5 to 10 years old
A passenger from 5 to 10 years old must have a separate seat. The ticket is purchased at the child's rate. The exception is luxury carriages. As mentioned above, children have the right to travel in them free of charge up to 10 years old.
When making a purchase on the website, you just need to add a children's ticket to the order. You can also purchase it later. The system will automatically calculate the price for the child's fare and show it at the stage of entering passenger data. Please note that it is possible to purchase a ticket for a child under 10 years old separately from adults, but a young passenger will not be able to board the train unaccompanied. The only exceptions are schoolchildren who go to school or from school. And this must be confirmed by documented certificates from the educational institution.
Children from 10 to 17 years old
For schoolchildren, there is a discount of 35 to 50%, which applies to reserved seats, general and seated carriages of high-speed trains. The discount does not apply to tickets in compartments, SV and high-speed trains of the Sapsana type. When boarding the train, the conductor has the right to request a certificate from the educational institution.
From the age of 10, children can travel by train on their own, that is, without being accompanied by an adult. If a child travels across Russia, a parental power of attorney is not required.
Children's fare for aeroexpress
JSC Aeroexpress is a subsidiary of Russian Railways. Monopolist provides discounts for children and on Aeroexpress trains that run from the railway stations of the Russian capital to Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports. Children under 5 years old can travel for free, but on condition that they sit on the lap of an adult.
There is a child fare for passengers between the ages of 5 and 7. Tickets for it are purchased only at the box office and in the presence of children. The age of the young passenger is determined on the day of the start of the trip. Children from 7 years old need to buy a ticket at the standard fare.
There is also a "Family" tariff, which allows 1-2 adults and 1-3 children up to 18 years old to get to the airport quickly with a decent discount. In this case, the ticket is also purchased only at the box office and in the presence of children. At this rate, children can travel on the Aeroexpress for free.
Discount travel abroad by train for children: rules, fares and nuances
The rules for issuing train tickets for children when leaving Russia differ from the rules for traveling within the country. First of all, this applies to documents that should be carried with you. Minor passengers can leave Russia with a passport, both their own and their parent's. They must be entered in the last one.
If the child is traveling alone, he must have a notarized consent from the parents indicating the dates of departure and the countries to be visited. The consent of one of the parents is enough, if the second has not submitted a statement that he is against the departure of his child outside the Russian Federation.
The cost of children's tickets for foreign trains depends on the route:
- Ukraine, CIS countries, Abkhazia, as well as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. The same tariffs and rules apply as for domestic Russian trains. If the departure station is located on Ukrainian territory, it will not work to issue a free ticket for a child under 5 years old via the Internet. In this case, a ticket for the child's fare will have to be purchased at the station ticket office.
Finland. A child under 6 years old without a separate seat can travel for free. The ticket is issued in one order with an adult or later upon presentation of an adult ticket. Passengers from 6 to 17 years old can travel at the child fare. This also applies to children under 6 years old with a separate seat. The ticket is also issued together with an adult.
- France, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic. A child under 4 years old without a separate seat has the right to travel free of charge. To do this, you still need to issue a ticket in one order with an adult or later. For a separate seat, you must purchase a ticket for a child fare, as well as a passenger from 4 to 12 years old. Children over 12 years old travel at the full rate.
It should be noted that a discount on the child fare can be obtained only if the carriage is carried out by a Russian Railways train. Some international trains offer discounts for children in a group. Usually it is no more than 30% of the price of a full ticket.