Ukraine by train

I have traveled all over Europe mostly by air but I find train travel is the most relaxing for me. I find train travel is best and economical for most destinations in Ukraine. The rail system is quite extensive there is 22,800 km of track in Ukraine. I have spent as much as 50 dollars to buy the whole berth in second class, it consists of 4 bunks and a door that closes for sleeping along with a small table for eating. Longer trips will have a dining car but for most train rides they have hot water for free and you can purchase tea, coffee and sweets. It is common to share food with others while on the train, we normally stop at the local market for bread, cheese, sausage and something to drink for our journey. In the summer when the train stops at some of the small villages you can purchase fruit and an assortment of dried fish or baked goods. since most trains schedules are set to depart in the evening you arrive in the morning. It is a good idea to take your own toilet paper since there might not be any. As a precaution keep your valuables on you when you travel. A word of caution if you are traveling from smaller city's you might be spending a considerable amount of time on the train. On a trip to Crimea the scenery was fantastic and we had a great time arriving at 5AM was not the best part. On another trip to Bokovel we spent 24 hours on the train because we left from Sumy and not Kiev. Buying tickets can be a problem unless you speak Russian or Ukrainian so plan accordingly. Most hotels and company's who offer translators can make the arrangements for you in advance. If you do not book in advance you might not get a second class ticket. There is a web site for train tickets in Russian but I'm not sure how reliable it is.