Appendix 6:
Suburban Rail Systems - Additional Information - CIS
In Russia, regional rail network system lengths are those worked by пригородний (prigorodniy; "suburban") trains. In electrified zones, prigorodniy services are worked by electric multiple unit (EMU) stock and are known as электропоезд (elektropoezd; "electric train") and also by the colloquial электричка (elektrichka). Diesel multiple unit (DMU) stock is used on some unelectrified lines and branches; these are known as дизелпоезд (dizelpoezd; "diesel train") or дизел (dizel) for short (note that, in Russian, word endings vary by grammatical case).
The RZhD system is organized into 17 branches ("railways"). These are arranged below from west to east, with administrative center:
Калининградская железная дорога (Kaliningradskaya zheleznaya doroga), Kaliningrad Railway, Kaliningrad.
Октябрьская железная дорога (Oktyabr'skaya zheleznaya doroga), October Railway, Sankt-Peterburg.
("October" is a reference to the Октябрьская революция, Oktyabr'skaya revolyutsiya, "October Revolution," the Bolshevik coup d'etat of 1917 November 7. This date, on the Julian calendar then used in Russia, was October 25.)
Московская железная дорога (Moskovskaya zheleznaya doroga), Moskva Railway, Moskva.
Северная железная дорога (Severnaya zheleznaya doroga), Northern Railway, Yaroslavl.
Юго-Восточная железная дорога (Yugo-Vostochnaya zheleznaya doroga), South-Eastern Railway, Voronezh.
Северо-Кавказская железная дорога (Severo-Kavkazskaya zheleznaya doroga), North Caucasus Railway, Rostov-na-Donu.
Горьковская железная дорога (Gor'kovskaya zheleznaya doroga), Gorky Railway, Nizhniy Novgorod.
Куйбышевская железная дорога (Kuybyshevskaya zheleznaya doroga), Kuybyshev Railway, Samara.
Приволжская железная дорога (Privolzhskaya zheleznaya doroga), Volga (Privolzhsky) Railway, Saratov.
Свердловская железная дорога (Sverdlovskaya zheleznaya doroga), Sverdlov Railway, Yekaterinburg.
Южно-Уральская железная дорога (Yugo-Ural'skaya zheleznaya doroga), South Ural Railway, Chelyabinsk.
Западно-Сибирская железная дорога (Zapadno-Sibirskaya zheleznaya doroga), West Siberian Railway, Novosibirsk.
Красноярская железная дорога (Krasnoyarskaya zheleznaya doroga), Krasnoyarsk Railway, Novosibirsk.
Восточно-Сибирская железная дорога (Vostochno-Sibirskaya zheleznaya doroga), East Siberian Railway, Irkutsk.
Забайкальская железная дорога (Zabaykal'skaya zheleznaya doroga), Transbaikal Railway, Chita.
Дальневосточная железная дорога (Dal'nevostochnaya zheleznaya doroga), Far Eastern Railway, Khabarovsk.
Сахалинская железная дорога (Sakhalinskaya zheleznaya doroga), Sakhalin Railway, Yuzhno-Sakalinsk.
Summary data are presented in the tables by administrative center (e.g. October Railway data under Sankt-Peterburg). The authors believe that statistics of дальнем сообщении (dal'nem soobshchenii) "long-distance" passengers pertain to "originating passengers;" the summary total of all RZhD "long-distance" passengers would not be magnified by "double-counting." However, the number of passengers carried by divisions which carry a significant share of "transit" passengers originating elsewhere might be greater than implied by passenger traffic statistics.
Although the term is often translated into English as "suburban," prigorodniy services are not analogous to the "regional" or "commuter rail" networks that exist in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and Japan. They more closely resemble the long-distance local or "stopping" services still operated in some "Western" countries but not in others (e.g. the US and Canada). Some sources describe prigorodniy services, those around large cities in particular, using the German-language term S-Bahn. The authors believe that this is not appropriate, because CIS countries have (at 2007) built very little dedicated infrastructure for suburban rail passenger traffic.
Prigorodniy networks typically extend far from terminal cities and carry short-distance and medium-distance traffic along major railway lines, together with "commuter" traffic to major cities (and, in some locations, to major industrial complexes). Fares are very low by comparison with those charged in "Western" countries. Russian-language sources suggest high levels of fare evasion by passengers (in response to poor service and poor condition of rolling stock) and the numbers of passengers carried might be significantly less than implied by statistics.
Prigorodniy trains also carry large numbers of urban residents to and from dachas, summer and weekend homes built at the periphery of cities or rural villages. Dachas are a long-established tradition in Russia. However, Дачный посёлок (dachnyy posyolok; "dacha settlement"), groups of wood cottages built at the periphery of large cities, provincial towns and rural villages, did not appear until the mid-1950s (that is, following the death of Soviet leader Iosif Stalin). These proliferated very rapidly thereafter, in part because many urban residents grew vegetables on plots of land at or near their dachas. About 30 percent of all families in the Russian Federation own or lease dachas. Rail services no longer provide the exclusive means of transport to and from country homes, but many urban residents in CIS countries continue to travel to and from dachas by train and bus.
Some prigorodniy services work across international borders; these were once boundaries between the "Union Republics" of the former USSR. Examples include Харків Kharkiv (Ukraine) Белгород Belgorod (Russia), Смоленск Smolensk (Russia) – Віцебск Viciebsk (Belarus), and Toshkent (Ozbekiston) – Chengeldy (Qazaqstan).
Волгоград Volgograd provides an example of a Russian provincial center and its prigorodniy network. Volgograd proper had 1.01 million residents, and Volgograd oblast (province) had 2.7 million residents at 2002.
In the table below, "Services per Direction per Day" includes short workings (e.g. services that work over part of the route). Timings are "average" and may vary significantly among individual services. The Traktornaya passazhirskaya. – Volgograd-I – Yuzhnaya and Volgograd-I – Trubnaya services are considered "urban" rather than "suburban," and are worked by EMU stock. The Petrov Val and Kotelnikovo services are also worked by EMU stock. The first EMU service in the Volgograd region was opened in 1959.
Волгоград 1
Kilometers / Miles
Services per Direction per Day
Commercial Speed
km/h / mph
Тракторная пассажирская Волгоград 1 Южная
/ Traktornaya-passazhirskaya Volgograd-I Yuzhnaya
56 / 35
32 / 20
Иловля 1 Арчеда
/ Ilovlya-I Archeda
156 / 97
46 / 28
Иловля 1 Петров Вал
/ Ilovlya-I Petrov Val
226 / 140
59 / 37
Мариановка Донская
/ Marianovka Donskaya
83 / 51
36 / 22
Мариановка Морозовская
/ Marianovka Morozovskaya
232 / 144
43 / 27
Котельниково / Kotelnikovo
190 / 118
47 / 29
Трубная / Trubnaya
34 / 21
39 / 24
Low commercial speeds are typical of prigorodniy services. This in some cases is the cumulative result of long dwell times at stations (1-3 min is the "typical" range; station stops of 5-15 minutes are not unknown). In other cases, one stop is scheduled for 20-40 minutes, or longer; the alleged purpose of this practice (known in the US as "schedule padding") is to expedite adherence to timetables.
RZhD had established ten "commuter rail companies" to the end of 2007. These were organized to serve Moscow city and Moscow oblast’ ("province"), Sankt-Peterburg, Altai krai ("territory;" administrative center: Barnaul), Primorskiy krai (Vladivostok), Krasnoyarsk kray (Krasnoyarsk), Sverdlovsk oblast’ (Yekaterinburg), Volgograd oblast’ (Volgograd), Novosibirsk oblast’ (Novosibirsk), Omsk oblast’ (Omsk), and Kemerovo oblast’ (Kemerovo). Five additional undertakings were planned for establishment, within the areas served by the North Caucasus, Ocober, Sverdlovsk and Kuybyshev railways.
Львів L’viv, Ukraine, provides an additional example of a CIS "suburban” network. L’viv had a population of about 750,000 (sources consulted by the authors do not agree), and L’viv oblast (province) had 2.6 million residents at 2001. An online reference (in English) maintained by the L’viv municipal authority states that the number of "employees from L’viv suburbs" and "tourists" traveling into L’viv is 200,000 "daily" (ht tp://w; broken link at 2007.8.15). Readers are cautioned that this statement does not specify mode. The authors believe it unlikely that 200,000 people travel by train to central L’viv each workday. Moreover, the authors also believe it unlikely that the services listed in the table below are dominated by travel to and from L’viv. Readers are again reminded that prigorodniy services are not identical in character to “regional,” “commuter rail,” RER or S-Bahn services operated in other countries.
The UZ official website uses the term електропоїзд (elektropoyizd; "electric train") for "suburban" services although not all routes are electrified. The Ukrainian-language equivalent of prigorodniy is Приміськи prymis’ky. In the table below, "Services per Direction per Day" includes short workings. Timings are "average" and may vary significantly among individual services. The Ternopil, Rivne, Mostys’ka II, Syanky, Truskavets’ and Morshyn services are worked by EMU stock (at 2007 December).
Kilometers / Miles
Services per Direction per Day
km/h / mph
Красне Золочів Тернопіль
/ Krasne Zolochiv Ternopil’
141 / 61
42 / 26
Красне Здолбунів Рівне
/ Krasne Zdolbuniv Rivne
207 / 128
45 / 28
Сапіжанка Стоянів Луцьк Ківерці
/ Sapizhanka Stoyaniv Luts’k Kivertsi
189 / 117
25 / 15
Сапіжанка Сокаль Ковель
/ Sapizhanka Sokal’ Kovel’
197 / 122
44 / 27
Рава-Руська/ Rava-Rus’ka
67 / 42
29 / 18
Затока Шкло-Старжиска
/ Zatoka Shklo-Starzhyska
20 / 12
14 / 9
Затока Мостиська II
/ Zatoka Mostys’ka II
79 / 21
38 / 23
Самбір Турка Сянки
/ Sambir Turka Syanky
167 / 104
37 / 23
Стрий Дрогобич Трускавець
/ Stryy Drohobych – Truskavets’
114 / 71
43 / 27
Стрий Моршин/ Stryy Morshyn
90 / 56
40 / 25
Ходорів Тернопіль
/ Khodoriv Ternopil’
179 / 111
18 / 11
The fare between L’viv and Ternopil’ by prymis’ky train was stated (at 2005 June) at UAH 5.00, or UAH 0.35 per km. This is the equivalent of about USD 0.007 per km / $0.01 per mi, based on 5 Ukrainian hryvnia per US dollar.
The official website of the Kazan (Qazan) Metro contains a brief description (in English, Russian and Tatar) of a "metro" in a "secret military city," Zheleznogorsk (Железногорск, known previously as Krasnoyarsk-26 Красноярск-26), which produces "weapons-grade plutonium and satellites" . The line is described as extending 10 km / 6 mi from the town center to a "mining-chemical plant," with 5 km / 3 mi in tunnel.
The existence of Zheleznogorsk is not "secret;" it is located about 50 km / 30 mi north of Krasnoyarsk, along the left (east) bank of the Yenisey River. It is "closed" by order of the Ministry for Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation. (Only persons employed locally may live in a "closed" city, and foreign citizens may visit only with special permission.) Information online establishes that the "metro" is in fact a passenger service on an electrified industrial railway for staff employed at the mining/nuclear complex. As such, it is an "intramural" transport facility and is therefore not tabulated.
Passenger service for staff members on industrial railways is not uncommon (e.g. at mines) and is not limited to Russia or other CIS countries. Public passenger service on industrial railways is less common but is not unknown. One Russian example was the industrial railway connecting Norilsk (Норильск, population 175,000 at 2001), a nickel-mining center, with Dudinka (Дудинка) on the Yenesey River. This was built from 1933 (by forced labor) and opened in 1937. The original 750-mm / 2’ 5½” gauge line was replaced by USSR-standard 1,524-mm / 5’ from 1947, although the first segment of broad-gauge track opened in 1941. The first broad-gauge train operated in 1950 and the new line was completed in 1952. Electrified operation began in 1957. A 10-km / 6-mi branch to the regional airport was opened in 1967 and electrified in 1968. All, or most, of the railway was electrified by 1974. The railway was not part of the state network (now RZhD) but was administered by the nickel-mining undertaking. The distance between Dudinka and Norilsk is about 100 km / 60 mi; the total route length is stated at 420 km / 260 mi. Following the 1991 breakup of the USSR and subsequent privatization of the nickel-mining enterprise, passenger service was curtailed gradually. Public passenger service was withdrawn except during winter months in 1996, and all remaining service was withdrawn in 1998. The railway was de-electrified in 1999. Norilsk was declared a closed city in 2001 (allegedly at the request of the nickel mining enterprise).