The new service, which will operate daily with five-car 160km/h Swallow EMUs, will also reduce travel times between Moscow and Yaroslavl from four hours to three. The service will depart Kostroma at 07.12, arriving in Moscow at 11.19. The return journey will depart Moscow at 15.10, arriving at Kostroma at 19.17. Both services will stop in Yaroslavl and Nerekhta.

The first train departed Yaroslavsky station in Moscow on July 17, with a ceremony attended by RZD chairman, Mr Oleg Belozerov, Kostroma regional governor, Mr Sergei Sitnikov, and the Federal Agency for Tourism director, Ms Zarina Doguzova.

“Today is a wonderful event for RZD and for our entire country,” Belozerov says. “We see a recovery in demand for rail travel and great interest from our citizens in domestic tourism. This month we released all our birds from the cage: we completely restored all Sapsan and Swift services, and almost all Swallow services, after they were suspended due to the pandemic.”

“It is very important for us that Kostroma residents and visitors to our region will be able to safely reach the capital in four hours,” Sitnikov says. “The city is located only 350km from Moscow, but the road is difficult and uncomfortable. I have to go either by night train, which arrives at 05.00, or by car which, due to traffic jams, could take up to eight hours.

“I am sure that the flow of tourists will increase significantly, and the business activity of the Kostroma business will also increase.”

Passengers will be offered three classes: business, economy and basic. The trains feature two wheelchair lifts, and a multimedia portal providing films, music, audiobooks, news and timetables. Tickets for the service begin at Roubles 799 ($US 11).