Ticket to ride: Vladimir Putin’s spa and gym inside his armoured train

A trove of documents reveal Vladimir Putin has a recreational carriage on his armoured train, fitted with a gym and Turkish bath.

A trove of documents reveal Vladimir Putin has a recreational carriage on his armoured train, fitted with a gym and Turkish bath.

Leaked documents have revealed details about Vladimir Putin’s armoured train, providing an insight into what Russia’s president likes doing in his spare time.

The Dossier Centre, a group headed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man and now a critic of the Kremlin, was given a trove of documents about  the train.

The Dossier Centre then combed through the documents with CNN, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Westdeutscher Rundfunk and Norddeutscher Rundfunk.

The documents were handed over from a source within Zircon Service, the Russian company contracted by Russian Railways to outfit cars for Putin’s needs.

It’s not breaking news that Putin uses a train to get around, however, some of the cars that are specifically fitted for his needs are a little surprising.

Gleb Karakulov defected from Russia last year, after previously serving as an engineer and captain in the Federal Protective Service (FSO).

In an interview, he said as soon as Putin’s plane takes off, it is detected on the flight radar, which is why the train is preferable.

“The train, it is used in order to somehow hide these movements,” he said, according to CNN.

Wellbeing wagon

According to Dossier Group and CNN, Putin has his own “sports health wagon”.

Inside the sports health wagon is a gym, a hammam spa and a beautician’s office. This train car is also fitted with medical equipment to “save a person’s life”.

Floor plans shared online by Dossier Group show a bathroom which leads into the gym. In the room after the gym there is a set-up dedicated to skin care and a massage table, then at the end, there’s the Turkish bath.

The gym is reportedly fitted with a hyper-extension machine, a step platform, a tatami mat, a gymnastic mat and dumbbells weighing up to eight kilograms.

The beautician’s room has skin rejuvenation technology, including a radio-frequency machine. The room is also reportedly fitted to ensure listening devices cannot be used in there.

And finally, there’s the fully-tiled Turkish steam bath and shower. There are also several TVs throughout the car, though while travelling the weak satellite signal under bridges or near tall buildings frequently affects coverage.

Despite the evidence in the documents, verified by the Dossier Centre and other media outlets, the Kremlin denies Putin has such a car on the train.

“President Putin does not have such a car in his use or in his ownership,” the Kremlin told CNN.

There are more than 20 carriages on the train, however many are not for leisure, but for technical use, and not all carriages are used at the same time.

Putin's recreational carriage on the train

Putin’s recreational carriage on the train has just about everything.

Issues with Putin’s train

The train reportedly costs 6.8 billion rubles ($A112 million), with maintenance costing millions more every year. The special health-beauty carriage reportedly cost 413.4 million rubles ($A6.8 million).

Russian Railways reportedly refused to pay Zircon Service for the special carriage, according to Dossier Centre.

“The state-owned company considered that Zircon Service exceeded the allowable cost threshold and asked for too high a price,” Dossier Centre said.

“Russian Railways employees recalculated the cost of the contract using their own methodology, taking prices for materials from the Internet, and decided that they owed Zircon 56.8 million rubles less.”

Abbas Gallyamov, who once served as one of Putin’s speech writers, says the president doesn’t travel often these days.

He said the president not only feels politically insecure but physically insecure.

“He is losing the war, he is losing in politics, he is losing in popularity,” Gallyamov said, according to CNN.

“He is getting more and more enemies, committing more and more crimes. He feels that he is surrounded by enemies. And psychologically he wants to feel protected against all these things.”

And Putin does have a reason to be scared, as trainspotters have been able to spy on the train.

One trainspotter posted online about a “ghost train” that wasn’t on the Russian Railways systems or on the timetables, according to CNN, while sharing a picture of what might be Putin’s train.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.