The first double-decker passenger train from Moscow arrived in the Crimean city of Simferopol on Thursday morning, a TASS correspondent reported.
The train departed from Moscow’s Kazansky Railway Station at 23:45 local time (20:45 GMT) on December 23, crossed the Crimea Bridge overnight into Thursday and arrived at its final destination in Simferopol at 08:47 local time (05:47 GMT). The journey took 33 hours, TASS reports.
Crimean State Council Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov told reporters that the launch of train service to other regions of Russia would give a huge impetus to the Crimean economy. Crimean Prime Minister Yuri Gotsanyuk, in turn, pointed out that the tourism industry would get a special boost because trains were the cheapest way to travel to Crimea.
The railroad section of the Crimea Bridge, which connects Crimea and the Krasnodar region, was opened on December 23. Trains will run between St. Petersburg and Sevastopol, and between Moscow and Simferopol on a year-round basis. The first train from St. Petersburg arrived in Sevastopol on Wednesday.
The Crimea Bridge, which connects Crimea and Russia’s Krasnodar region, is the longest in Europe. The bridge was opened to car traffic in May 2018, and for cargo traffic in the fall of 2018.
The construction of the railway part of the bridge was completed on December 18, 2019. Cargo trains are expected to start running across the bridge in July 2020.