I need your brilliant brains, please (posting this everywhere).
I have slaved over this sentence at least an hour yesterday and another today, and the issue is: how to call particular Russian train parts so they’re clear to the American reader?
For example, the trains have cars (different types, like dormitory-style, sleeping, luxe), and cars have doors. Those doors lead into the cars. They can be called: door, entry door, exit door, doorway, entryway, gate. The space right behind the door can be called: tambour, vestibule, entryway, entrance, foyer. Not to mention the two other doors inside, which lead to the gangway on one side and to the corridor to the compartments (or rooms, or cabins) on the other side, and the corridor can also be called: aisle, hallway, passageway. In Russian there are very specific and simple words that call all of these things: dver (door), vagon (car), tambur (entryway), coridor (passageway), kupe (compartment), polka (bed, bunk, berth). But in English?? I already scoured all kinds of novels about trains, and each of them uses slightly different names. Another issue: too many “of.” The door of a car of a train?? Or is it better “aboard” a train?
So here is the sentence. It’s critical for me to capture the attention of the reader and draw a picture of what’s happening (this is from the new TUBE Prologue). But do you actually understand what door it is, what car and what part of it?
How would you reword it? Or keep it as is? GIMME YOUR WISDOM.
“She stood in the open door of the sleeping car aboard Simferopol-Moscow express as it sped through the vast snowy fields of the mighty Soviet Union, the snow smooth and white and endless under the black winter sky, the night dark and quiet in its frozen stillness.”
P.S.: Here is the video of a 3D rendering of the aforementioned car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytIeWvezYhM