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article imageRussian trains to end dependence on Moscow time

By AFP     Jul 25, 2018 in Travel

Russia on Tuesday announced that it will stop running all long-distance trains across its 11 time zones on Moscow time (GMT+3), ending a frequent cause of confusion for travellers.

Russian Railways, the state monopoly, said it made the move to "improve the quality of service for passengers."

From August 1, at all stations, all information boards, clocks and loudspeaker anouncements on the time on arrival and departure of long-distance trains will use the local time, the railway company said.

Since May, the railway company has been printing train tickets for August and beyond showing both the local time and Moscow time.

Currently the time for a train departing from the Pacific city of Vladivostok at the end of the Trans-Siberian route, will be shown on station timetables, display boards and tickets according to Moscow time, even though there is a seven-hour time difference.

This rule was introduced in the Soviet era to achieve consistency across the network and so passengers don't have to keep changing their watches.

But it often causes confusion for passengers joining trains in cities across Russia who may not be familiar with the current Moscow time.

The time difference can even mean that passengers need to buy tickets for a different date than they were expecting.

Under the Soviet Union, all trains across all the republics ran according to Moscow time.

Russia has recently tinkered with its time zones, cutting them down to nine in 2011 and then going back to 11 in 2014.

It has also been on permanent winter time since 2014 after a failed experiment to put the nation on summer time all year round.

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