An epic train journey has recently been re-created by Russian Railways in an attempt to link the Russian capital, Moscow, wih the South of France at Nice. The route is designed (perhaps unsurprisingly) for Russians wanting to catch a bit of sun, and hopes to revive some of the glamour of long distance train journeys.
The two day journey doesn't come cheap, with prices starting at over €300, and going as high as €1200. It isn't your average journey however, with comfortable rooms and furnishings. Each compartment has two berths, which can be shared or sole occupancy. Breakfast is included in ticket prices, and is served in the dining car. There are a number of different (tasty) options to choose from.
The rooms, while comfortable, can be a bit on the warm side, and unfortunately the windows don't open, preventing passengers from making the most of air conditioning au naturale! They also lack power sockets, so you will need to bring plenty of old fashioned reading material, or be prepared to make the most of the wide range of views on offer.
Passports and visas are checked at the Poland/Belarus border. At the border, the wheel gauge is changed, but passengers stay onboard for this process. Passengers who aren't Russian will require a transit visa to travel through Belarus. This can be obtained from the Belarussian Embassy. You will be removed from the train if you do not have an appropriate visa.
Want more information? Shaun Walker has written a good in-depth account of his journey on the Nice to Moscow train for the Independent.