Free train travel starts for fans attending 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™
The first train carrying fans attending the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ departed today from Kazan Station in Moscow en route to Adler in South Russia.
The event was attended by Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Pegov, Director for Passenger Transportation at OJSC Russian Railways, and Kirill Polyakov, Managing Director of the Autonomous Non-Commercial Organisation “Transport Directorate of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
“There is just over a day left to the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, so today fans will be travelling to the cities where the first matches will be held. We expect 2.8 million fans to attend the matches in the Russian Federation and over one billion viewers to watch the games around the world. The World Cup has lent great impetus to the construction of infrastructure in our country and to future projects for the development of domestic and incoming tourism,” said Olga Golodets. “We are extremely keen to enable people of all ages, including those with disabilities, to move freely and conveniently around Russia’s beautiful sights and places. Russians and fans from 167 countries will be able to visit the 11 cities hosting the games during the2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.”
The first train carrying fans from Moscow is taking them to the match between Portugal and Spain, which kicks off at 21:00 at the Fisht stadium in Adler on 15 June 2018.
“This comfortable and modern double-decker train has a capacity of almost 800 seats and can transport fans from Moscow to south Russia in less than a day. It train makes three stops en route, in Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar and Tuapse,” said Dmitry Pegov, and “is equipped with climate control, sockets and wi-fi which can accept foreign SIM cards, as well as all the other innovations and services that the RZD Holding provides. In order to provide the fans on the trains with a great service, the best conductors who undertook additional training have been selected, and professional translators are on hand to help foreign fans.”
During the course of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, the long-distance trains that will run between the host cities of the matches will make about 15,000 flights and be used by over 2.6 million people, including fans who will book free travel themselves on the additional trains. These trains will provide about 450,000 seats in total.
Free long-distance trains will run on 31 routes and make 734 runs in all.
By order of the Autonomous Non-Commercial Organisation “Transport Directorate of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™”, six special high-speed Sapsan trains will also make special runs for the transportation of fans between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
According to Dmitry Pegov, as of today fans from 154 countries have booked about 330,000 tickets, which is more than 70% of the total capacity provided by the trains.
Most of the fans who have booked so far come from Russia itself, followed by Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, the USA and China.
The most popular trains are to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Adler.
The RZD holding will be using about 80 comfortable train formations to provide free transportation for football fans, including high-speed Sapsan trains. These are modern carriages equipped with all the necessary equipment needed for a comfortable journey: air-conditioners, sockets, Wi-FI and new toilets. Each train also has a carriage equipped with a special compartment for less mobile citizens or, as in the case of Lastockha trains, special devices for convenient boarding and disembarkation.
More than 2,300 conductors and train guards have undergone special training to provide a good service to fans travelling on the free trains.
During their training, the railway staff studied football culture and travel rules and received instructions in assisting fans to board the trains, effective communications, stress management and cross-cultural communication when providing services to passengers from foreign countries.
In addition, 20% of the conductors received special in-depth training in English.