THE RUSKEALA EXPRESS
This is the only daily steam retro train that operates in Karelia Republic between
the cities of Sortavala and the most striking place of the Northern Ladoga region – the Ruskeala Mountain Park.
The only one in Russia
The Ruskeala Express – this is the only regular passenger steam retro train in
Russia. The train consists of 5 cars including the restaurant car. The first train was
launched on 1 June 2019
The last regular passenger steam train was running in the late 1970s
Background
In 1818, the Russian Emperor Alexander I appointed a young ambitious French
architect Auguste de Montferrand to the post of chief architect of the new St.
Isaac's Cathedral.
Montferrand has been looking for building and facing material for the
reconstruction of St. Isaac's Cathedral for several years. Part of the marble was
found by the chief architect on the islands not far from Valaam Island, part of it
abroad, and three species in the Ruskeala.
The French architect comes to Ruskeala in a richly designed carriage twice: in
1820 and 1821 Montferrand liked the marble in these places very much, but there
was a problem with its transportation. The thing is the marble from the islands
was transported by ships along Ladoga and further along the Neva to the capital
directly, but from Ruskeala which is about 40 km far from Ladoga, transportation
remained a challenge. The valuable stone was transported in carts down the
broken roads.
Then an experienced architect said: "A cast-iron road should be built to Serdobol
(Sortavala), and the train routes should be launched".

Auguste de Montferrand
The chief architect of the St. Isaac's Cathedral
By the way, the modern train route from Sortavala to Ruskeala runs along the
land road which used to deliver the Ruskeala marble to Lake Ladoga
His words are not accidental, at that time in the UK railways were already being built, and in Russia there were no specialists and technologies at that time.
Almost 200 years later, the ideas of the talented architect have been brought to life.

The Ruskeala Express connected the shores of Lake Ladoga with the Ruskeala marble deposits. The Ruskeala Express interior is decorated like the carriage on which Auguste de Montferrand came to Ruskeala.
Train schedule
The train operates every day. Journey time is 1 hour.

Sortavala 10:40 – 11:50 Ruskeala Mountain Park
Ruskeala Mountain Park 17:30 – 18:30 Sortavala

The train schedule is made bearing in mind the fast train "Lastochka" from Saint-Petersburg to Sortavala.
Buy ticket
Ticket prices
The price of an adult ticket for the Ruskeala Express ranges from 299 to 999 rubles. The final cost of the ticket directly depends on the date of purchase and the fullness of the train, as well as on the availability of additional services such as food service. The closer the travel date and the more train tickets bought, the more expensive the ticket will be.
Discounts
When buying a round trip ticket, the cost of a ticket in the direction "back" is reduced by 20%.

Children under 5 years old without a seat registration – free of charge!

When buying a ticket for passengers aged 10 to 21 years old (including the day of the 21st birthday) or for passengers over 60 years old, the cost is reduced by 30%.
How to buy a ticket
You can buy a ticket for the Ruskeala Express on the official Russian Railways website, in the Russian Railways For Passengers mobile application (ios) (android) or at all railway ticket offices in the country!
When buying a ticket, choose the route: Sortavala - Ruskeala and also the date of the intended trip.
Train compartment types
Compartment with seating position (Common)
The price ranges from 299 to 499 rubles. All compartments are stylized as the first class carriage compartments of the late 19th - early 20th centuries.
Restaurant-car in Czar Style
One of the "highlights" of the train is its Restaurant-car. We do not sell the tickets to this car, but you can enter it if you have a train ticket, take a sit and order food. This car is also stylized for the era of the late XIX - early XX centuries. There are piano, retro furniture and retro fittings of that time. The restaurant menu includes
dishes of Karelian cuisine. While the train is parked in the Ruskeala Mountain Park (from 12:30 to 16:30), you can freely enter the car and have a snack.
VIP-compartment
This is another "highlight" of the Ruskeala Express. It is made in the likeness of one of the compartment of the carriage on which the Emperor of the Russian Empire Nicholas II followed from St. Petersburg to Helsinki. In addition to the authentic decoration of the compartment, you can also watch the work of the locomotive crew through special monitors.

The price of compartment for all 4 passengers is 5000 rubles. The fare also includes: a welcome drink (champagne), a fruit plate and a 1000-ruble certificate for buying food from the restaurant car. By the way, a personal waiter is assigned to this compartment, so you don't need to go anywhere to order food from the
restaurant car. This compartment is located in carriage №4 of our train.
Photo-compartment
To make the trip memorable, you can take a souvenir photo in a special photo compartment, which is located in the 2nd car of the retro train. The compartment is styled like a first class carriage compartment of the late 19th century. The compartment has photo props and an instant photo printer. The price for admission
for 5 minutes to the photo compartment and for 1 printed photo is 250 rubles. The service can be purchased at special terminals installed in each carriage.
How to get
From Saint-Petersburg
Every day a high-speed train "Lastochka" departs at 6:15 am from St. Petersburg from Finland Railway Station to Sortavala (the retro train departs from this Karelian city), the schedule of which is very conveniently connected with the departure of the retro train to the Ruskeala Mountain Park. The change at the Sortavala station will take 20 minutes.
During this time, you make a photo session with a steam locomotive in the background and also check your personal belongings to the luggage room at the station in Sortavala. The return trip of the retro train is also connected to the schedule with the high speed train "Lastochka" from Sortavala to St. Petersburg.
From Moscow
OPTION 1 directly. From January 10 to April 29 and from May 10 to May 28, 2021, every day the compartment cars and the restaurant car go directly from Moscow to Ruskeala Mountain Park without changing as part of passenger trains 159/160 Moscow - Petrozavodsk and trains 921/922 (the retro train
"Ruskeala Express") Sortavala – Ruskeala. It means that at the Sortavala station your carriage will be connected to the retro train, after this you can go there from your carriage and visit the restaurant car and photo compartment!

How to buy a ticket? When buying a ticket, choose the departure point: Moscow, and destination point: Ruskeala, also choose the date of travel. When buying a round trip ticket, the cost of a ticket in the direction "back" is reduced by 20%!

Buy tickets on the official Russian Railways website.

OPTION 2 with a change in Sortavala. You can get to Sortavala (from this Karelian city a retro train departs) from Moscow by daily train №159/160. The train leaves daily at 16:00 from the Leningradsky Railway Station and arrives in Sortavala at 6:34 the next day. Transfer time is 4 hours. During this time you can have breakfast at the Piipun Piha Hotel (you can get to the hotel by taxi: +79212271700, +79214670023, +79210153303), which must be ordered in advance (!). The price is around 100 rubles. Returning from the hotel to the Sortavala railway station, it is better to walk around the city, see the sights and enjoy the Finnish architecture.

OPTION 3 via St. Petersburg. By train №56 (Leningradsky Railway Station) or №126 (Kurskiy Railway Station) to St. Petersburg, and from there by taxi to Finlyandsky Railway Station, from where at 6:15 the high-speed train №821 "Lastochka" departs to Sortavala, where the "Ruskeala Express" will be waiting you as the arriving time is connected to this route.

Confused? Call the "Ruskeala Express" hotline - +7 (495) 147-20-80 or just arrange a tour "Ruskeala from Moscow"!
From Moscow. SUMMER 2021
For the summer, from May 29, the route to the Ruskeala Mountain Park from Moscow changes.

Option 1. With a RETRO TRAIN and a two-hour transfer at Sortavala station


You need to go from Leningradsky railway station in Moscow to Sortavala by train №160 Moscow-Petrozavodsk. At 8:28, get off the train in Sortavala, if necessary, you can leave your belongings in the automatic luggage room at the station. You can have a walk around the city, see the sights. By 10:40, you need already come back to the station and by Ruskeala Express retro train go on a journey through time to the Ruskeala Mountain Park. Travel time is 1 hour and 10 minutes. Arrival in Ruskeala – 11:55. After the arrival of the retro train, you can watch the show with the turn of the locomotive, if necessary, put your belongings in the automatic luggage room and go for a walk in the park. At 17:20, the retro train departs from Ruskeala to Sortavala, arriving at 18:35. You will have 2 more hours to walk around the city or buy souvenirs in the shops of the city. At 20:20, train №160 departs from Sortavala to Moscow. At 10:16 a.m. the next day, you arrive in Moscow.

For this trip, you need to purchase tickets on the website of "Russian Railways" by route:

1. Departure point: Moscow. Arrival point: Sortavala. Train №160 (round trip);

2. Departure point: Sortavala. Arrival point: Ruskeala. Ruskeala Express №921/922 (round trip, 20% discount on return ticket).

Option 2. WITH A RETRO TRAIN ON THE WAY BACK

Just as in the first option, you will leave Moscow by train №160, but only immediately to the Ruskeala Mountain Park without a morning transfer to Sortavala. Upon arrival at the Mountain Park, at 11:15, you can watch the show with a steam train turn. If necessary, put your belongings in an automatic luggage room located 15 meters from the Ruskeala station. Then you go to the park. Then you will take the Ruskeala Express train №922 back at 17:20. Arrive in Sortavala at 18:35. If necessary, you can leave your belongings in the luggage room at Sortavala station. You can have a walk around the city for two hours, buy souvenirs before the train back to Moscow. At 20:20 on the train №160 by your return tickets Ruskeala-Moscow you go back to Moscow. At 10:16 a.m. the next day, you arrive in Moscow.

For this trip, you need to purchase tickets on the website of "Russian Railways" by route:

1. Departure point: Moscow. Arrival point: Ruskeala. Train №160/926 (round trip, 20% discount on return ticket);

2. Departure point: Ruskeala. Arrival point: Sortavala. Retro train "Ruskeala Express" №922 (one way ticket).

Option 3. DIRECTLY TO THE PARK WITHOUT A RETRO TRAIN!

From Moscow, you need to take thetrain №160 directly to the Ruskeala Mountain Park without changing to a retro train at Sortavala station. You arrive at the Ruskeala Mountain Park at 11:15. You can watch the show with the turn of the locomotive. If necessary, put your belongings in an automatic luggage room located 15 meters from the Ruskeala station. Then you go have a walk in the park. And at 18:50, take the train back to Moscow.

For this trip, you need to purchase a ticket on the website of "Russian Railways" by route:

1. Departure point: Moscow.
Arrival point: Ruskeala.
Train №160/926 (round trip, 20% discount on return ticket).
Service
Service "Happy Birthday!"
Give your loved ones an unforgettable surprise - celebrate your birthday on the train!

Package "Optimum" – During your trip, the head of the train will congratulate the birthday person, present a mug, champagne and Karelian berry pie (2500 rubles);

Package "Advanced" – Package "Optimum" + Horse carriage ride (4450 rubles).

The service can be ordered on the old version website of "Russian Railways", in the mobile application "Russian Railways for Passengers" when buying tickets for the retro train 921/922 "Ruskeala Express". Remember, the date of birthday of the passenger must be 3 days before, 7 days after or on the day of travel.
Service "Horse Carriage ride"
Feel yourself in the beginning of the XX century! A horse-drawn carriage driven by a cabman dressed in the style of the beginning of the last century is ready to ride you through the park!
Route: Cafe "Ruskolka" - Light Lake and back!
You can order this service directly on the train (through the terminal) or in the park
(ask the coachman).
The cab can accommodate 4 adults and 1 child!