Elektrichka (Russian электричка ) is the Russian name ( colloquially ) for electric trains of the railway, which are used as commuter trains. It is so common in most of the successor states of the Soviet Union.


Behind the term refers to the slang term for " электропоезд пригородного сообщения " ( " Electric Multiple Unit for suburban services "). But as the official name is too long and too uncomfortable in everyday use, quickly developed the today common name " elektrichka ". For example, using the Russian-speaking arrival and Abfahrpläne the suburban trains that name officially. From people with little relationship to the railroad, partly also from ( Russian-speaking ) mass media, the term is sometimes incorrectly for non-electric suburban traffic, or for electrically powered trains (also with Lokomotiv covering ) in general, ie not only in the suburbs, are used.


Historically, explains the name of the trains from the fact that the Soviet state railway initially almost exclusively isolated networks around the cities electrified and longer distance routes and linking these isolated grids followed afterwards. Even today, the electric suburban networks of large cities are not connected in the successor states of the Soviet Union with the rest of the electrical grid and will only be used for suburban services, such as in Kaliningrad, Vilnius, Riga or Tallinn. Long-distance passenger and freight services in these networks is also served at existing catenary with diesel locomotives.

Route networks and vehicles

Elektritschkas are in principle comparable to Western European suburban traffic and suburban train routes, rich but sometimes much further into the countryside to the towns addition, some Moscow suburb routes ranging up to about 200 km into the surrounding area. They are operated with electric rail cars, rarely have own pairs of tracks and the track must therefore share with the long-distance and freight traffic. Therefore, they also have no regular timetable. The railcars came almost entirely from the wagon factory Riga, which produced in Soviet times these vehicles for the whole country. A characteristic of this Elektritschkas was the generally low comfort. Many trains were equipped with wooden benches. Car class differences do not exist in this Elektritschkas. Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union often lacked the financial resources, many railcars were outdated and in some bad condition.

In Russia and Ukraine, however, more modern successor railcars are developed from the 1990s, which are increasingly used. In Russia, the engineering company Transmashholding is with plants in Demichowo ( at Orechowo - Zuyevo ) and Torzhok currently the most important producer of electric commuter trains.

EMUs with increased comfort

Elektritschkas operate on urban transport tariff, which is well below the long-distance tariff. However, there are a smaller extent, railcars that operate over longer distances and for long-distance tariffs and thus are subject to reservation. These are Russian as " elektropojesd powyschennowo komforta " ( электропоезд повышенного комфорта ) refers. For this purpose, specially equipped Elektritschkas be used, the equipment of these traits varies depending on the route of the train. In the third class car seats meet the ordinary Elektritschkas, some with wooden benches. In the second and first class cars ( not both be offered in all such trains ) are upholstered seats. EMUs with increased comfort have in a separate Zugnummernbereich 800-849 (sometimes operate in this range of numbers but also trains to transport tariff), while normal Elektritschkas as suburban trains have four-digit train numbers. For the improvement of the comfort, the 1st and 2nd class of these trains are subject to reservation. Only in Georgia are Elektritschkas as distance passenger trains with 600- train numbers in use. The corresponding concept of operations is also available for diesel railcars, which are then usually referred to regardless of the drive principle as electric trains with increased comfort.