Coronavirus Train Disruptions – Eastern Europe

By Edward | Coronavirus

May 21
eastern europe coronavirus

Coronavirus Train Disruptions - Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe the coronavirus train disruptions are sweeping. While Russia seemed unfazed at first, it is now the worst-hit European country and myriad trains have been cancelled. Ukraine has done a better job containing the virus, but it has also cancelled all passenger traffic since 18th March. I don't know when it is going to resume.

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Russia - coronavirus train disruptions

πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί

Face masks seem to be urged, but not compulsory on Russian trains. Social distancing distance is not defined, but a maximum distance is encouraged.

Russia border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
Closed
  • Ukraine
  • Belarus
  • Poland
  • Lithuania
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Georgia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Mongolia
  • China
  • North Korea

Russia has now got a full blown epidemic on its hands and trains are severely impacted.

International Services

All international services have been cancelled. Trains to Kaliningrad pass through Lithuania without stopping. Trains that cross Kazakhstan via Petropavlovsk also pass through without stopping.

National Services

National services suffering badly. New social distancing measures are in place - essentially no train can be filled more than 50%.

  • In platskart only three passengers are placed per section (not six)
  • In kupΓ© at most two passengers may be placed (not four)
  • in seated cars only window seats are sold.
Russia Social Distancing

How seats are allocated on Russian trains under social distancing

Here is the link to RZD's corona page.  The English version hasn't been updated since 10th April, so now I link to the Russian version. I'm not expecting you to read it. Just scroll down the page fast and you'll get the idea of how many trains are cancelled.

First services being reintroduced again. On the long list of cancelled trains, green check marks are beginning to appear.

RZD Reintroduced train

Example of a cancelled Russian train that has been reintroduced, as seen on RZD's corona-virus page

Refund policies

Tickets for cancelled trains can be returned and fully reimbursed. On cancelled domestic passengers are offered an alternate train/date or full reimbursement. 

Updated: 29th June

Ukraine - coronavirus train disruptions

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Face masks are compulsory in Ukrainian public transport. Social distancing distance is 1.5 m.

Ukraine border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
Closed
  • Slovakia
  • Hungary
  • Russia
  • Romania
  • Moldova
  • Belarus

International services

All international services are suspended until further notice. UZ did run special trains to bring Ukrainians back home from places like Poland and Czechia.

Right now I'm watching for when Slovakia starts running its rail bus to Mukachevo again. This I expect any day now.

National Services

Domestic services are gathering speed, but not everything is running yet. Check the UZ booking site for what interests you. Most trains seem to be running. I can't find anything running between L'viv and Odessa or L'viv and Kyiv.

Refund policies

All tickets are reimbursed free of charge.

Updated: 29th June. Outlook: improving

Now what?

Well, I'm going to update this page every week. Truth be told, I'm up for some distraction now.

  1. Why not have a look at my other posts and plan for better times
  2. Or look at my coronavirus page, where I have all my coronavirus-writing in one place
  3. Or join my free Rail Guide Europe club and get the password to my insider guides

FREE Access

Join my Rail Guide Europe Club FREE

Sign up now and gain instant access to:


  • The password to my Insider Rail Guides
  • My FREE Telegram help group
  • Ask me Anything status by email

About the Author

After crisscrossing Europe for 6 years as a train conductor, I guide intrepid travellers roaming Europe by rail.

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