Hamburg and Saint Petersburg are twin towns, but family members do not always look alike – especially in terms of public transportation. FINK.HAMBURG visited Saint Petersburg and discovered unique professions in both cities.

It is crowded on Moskovskiy railway station in Saint-Petersburg. In the middle of all the normal passengers there are some, that will spent more than a week on the train. Most of them are women. They are wearing blue uniforms and they are everyday heroes: the train conductors.

Mom of the train

Marina Prokopyeva (Прокопьева Марина) likes her profession as a train conductor. It provides her the opportunity to meet different people and talk to them.

“My responsibilities include checking passengers’ tickets and documents. I also help people with limited mobility opportunities during the boarding and the transit. I assist people with strollers as well. During the trip I help pregnant women, elderly people, children. That is not only part of the job – it is the civil courage everyone should have.

I help passengers to make the bed or make tea and coffee for them. If passengers order a meal I bring it to them. I am also responsible for the cleanliness and coziness of the carriage – all that in order to create a positive atmosphere. My smile and my friendly attitude towards passengers influence them, enhance their mood. When they feel good, I feel good too.

People on the train are diverse. Some of them are nice and positive while some spray negative energy. Everyone has different needs. There are a lot of interesting people among the passengers and sometimes I manage to talk to them: A passenger could be a doctor. Then he can give valuable advices in terms of health.

“It is a pleasure to wear the uniform”

Besides working with people there are some other advantages of my job. The uniform is beautiful and it is a pleasure to wear it. Additionaly, most trains are comfortable. It is a great workplace. Working in trains also implies travelling. This way I get to visit different cities across the country. Salary also matters. As I work for a state owned company, I always receive salary on time.

To get this job I had to attend special courses and to pass the exams. Personally, when I started working after passing the exams I was really terrified. When I went to check tickets it seemed to me that everyone is watching me. My hands were shaking and I was afraid to make eye contact with passengers.

I am doing my job for ten years now and I am not terrified anymore. There is nothing to be afraid of and no reason to be shy. I simply straighten my back and smile. Everything works perfectly fine then.”

Dieser Text ist im Rahmen des Studierenden-Austausches der HAW Hamburg und der School Of Journalism and Mass Communication der State University St. Petersburg entstanden. Russische und deutsche Studierende haben dafür in journalistischen Tandems zusammengearbeitet.

Authors from St. Petersburg: