Getting to Sochi: Implementing the plan to get there

I have tickets to get to Moscow, and from there I plan to take the train from Moscow to Sochi.  This is supposed to be a beautiful train ride, doesn’t involve scary domestic flights and gives me more time to see what is supposed to be a beautiful country.

I’ve heard of some problems involving journalists and their experiences with Sochi at the Olympics.  My first hiccup with booking? The Russian railway ate my ticket order, charged my account for the ticket that they have no record of, and when I sent them an e-mail per “In the event of a dispute about debiting funds when paying for e-tickets, passengers should send an email to, keep a copy of this correspondence, and contact the bank which issued their card.“, the response I got back was in Russian requesting that I put the request to them in Russian.

Whut?  Seriously, not fun.  I used Google Translate to send them the message I sent them in English in Russian.  Waiting to hear back.  This does not feel like a good start.

Update: Apparently, the way the system works is this.  You go through the ticket process as round trip.  When it comes time to payment, they first bill you for the first part where they give you the total for the WHOLE trip.  After you pay for the way there, you then go through a second transaction to pay for the RETURN which also says the cost is for the whole trip.  The assumption is everyone buying a round trip ticket knows this is a two step payment process, so there is no warning about it when you get to the second payment screen that if you cancel, you kill the whole round trip ticket. ( Book: Moscow to Sochi, Sochi to Moscow.  Ordering: Whole trip: €120.  Pay €120.  First payment is actually €60 and only for Moscow to Sochi.  Then despite second booking, new screen saying pay €120 for Moscow to Sochi, Sochi to Moscow but actually paying €60 for Sochi to Moscow. )

This e-mail is all taking place in Russian with my use of Google Translate.  Their responses are all attached in Word documents written in Russian.