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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luxury Train Cars Offer a Return to Romance

For MTEach car features four two-person cabins and a bar. Their high price tag did not stop them from selling out their first week.
An overnight train trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg may sound romantic. But if the journey in Spartan compartments brings you down to Earth with a thud, Russian Railways Co., or RZD, has a solution.

It has added two "lyuks" wagons to the Red Arrow train with two-person compartments tricked out with a TV, stereo, VHS and DVD players, private toilet, shower and double bed.

The only question is how many travelers will be willing to plunk down 10,400 rubles ($365) for each compartment. By comparison, each spot in a standard two-person "soft" compartment on the Red Arrow costs 2,400 rubles.

"So far it's popular," said a spokesman for RZD, adding that the cars were sold out from March 15, when they started running, to March 19.

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Travel agents expect the lyuks class to be well received and possibly expand service.

Each car has four two-person compartments and a bar, although if you're traveling alone you still have to pay for the whole compartment. A similar wagon has been traveling between Moscow and Kazan since Jan. 21.

Travel agents said the new class would likely be well received and possibly expand, despite the high price tag.

Tom Fennell, director of business development at travel agency, said he expects the Moscow-St. Petersburg line to be a success -- and that the lyuks class may one day become available on Russia's most famous railroad, the Trans-Siberian. "I think there are a lot of people for whom the train journey is part of the romance," he said. "They're the audience for this."