Маршрут: НЕ 130 Мукачеве - Киев
Дата: 18.04.2017 23:22 - 19.04.2017 10:58.
Вагон 06 СВМ, места 05-06 VIP.
Цена: 2255 грн. включая 4 чай and two bottle of sparkling water.
The luxury rail car is convenient but not perfect. Люкс вагон удобный но не без проблем. Он например шатается.
The car was born in Ammendorf in 1982 and only got its present look in 2011 after a major overhaul. It looked new inside but the sleep was disturbed by the car tottering and oscillating from side to side down the track. It would be interesting to know whether this, the flagship railcar of UZ comfort, still is running on bogie technology dating back to the 1960ies?
The compartment had two great closets for luggage and hangers for clothes, each almost a meter deep.
The conductor, Oleksandr Vyshnevskyi, was a service minded man in his late 30ies. He showed how to convert the sofa to a berth and how to operate the bathroom, turn on cold and hot water etc.
In day mode, the sofa made comfortable seating, soft and nice, with sufficient space for all body parts. Much better than the so-called transformers.
Pulling the back down, a ~120 cm wide berth emerged on the flip side. The upper bed had to be pulled down from the wall; it was about 90-100 cm wide.
The beds were ready and made with the exception of the duvet and the duvet cover.
This missout might have been to leave the pax with a choice whether to sleep with with a blanket or not, but I found it annoying that I had to deal with bedding at 11:30 p.m. while paying more than 1100 hrivs per ticket.
The mattresses were too hard for my back, more like the usual UZ bunk standard than the soft bedding one would expect, say in a 2-3 star hotel.
The shower and toilet were clean and functioned well. Soap and shower gel was provided. The lighting was adjustable. I didn't try out the TV and DVD player.
The individual air conditioner didn't work "because the car wasn't yet configured for summer operation," as the train ward explained. That turned out to be a problem because it was far too warm in the car, 26 degrees C. The heating was on during the night, it was too much. It made me complaint in the morning. Calling for the train ward, I asked him to bring the proposals/complaints book. He was reluctant to do so, stating that it would cause him big trouble.
I insisted and here came the train manager with the book. In what seemed to be a very awkward and sovok-style move, the train manager who presented himself as "Serhiy," proceeded to disgrace the car's train ward in front of us. "Why didn't you check on the temperature, Sasha?! I will deprive you of your bonus! Sasha, go bring them some more water!
Then Serhiy proceeded to beg us not to make a case out it and accept his apologize. I insisted however on my right to make a short but formal complaint in the book since the temperature issue is a very widespread problem on UZ services.
I don't find the ticket price too high. The bedding of the compartment in the "СВМ VIP" car is wide and comfortable enough to house 2 adults and 2 children. In that sense the luxury car is a good alternative to buying all four bunks in a coupe compartment - whether you want to do that for privacy, romance or because you are travelling with 1-2 smaller children.
Four coupe bunks in the same train at the same distance come out at 470 x 4 = 1880, only marginally less than the 2220 price tag of the lux compartment with its wide beds, private toilet and shower.
UZ actually makes less money on the lux car than on a coupe class car. The lux car only houses 6 compartments for two adults each = 12 pax compared to the 36 pax in a coupe class car, or 1/3. But the price tag in the lux is only 1110/470=2.4 times more than the coupe class, not the 3 times it at least should be to generate the same potential revenue.
The train was often rather slow moving along the Ternopil - Fastiv line, slower than one would expect from a night express. The fact that it is about one hour slower than the #113 speaks for itself. It made Fastiv - Kyiv in around 38 minutes though.
Such a night express train should really arrive to Kyiv no later than 9-9:30 a.m., not the current 11.
The view was nice (early a.m. before Vinnitsa), but the window wasn't clean.
The compartment air-con didn't work
Red eyed, over heated and sitting next to the bathroom door.
In conclusion, 5 minuses: the high room temperature, the hard mattresses, the oscillation, the dirty window and a noisy creaking toilet door.