Is Russia ready to host the 2018 World Cup?

Cities working to upgrade roads, rail links

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World Cup trophy

(CNN) - Soccer fans will have their work cut out traveling between host cities at the 2018 World Cup.

The geography is vast, stretching almost 3,000 kilometers -- from the city of Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave which meets the Baltic Sea, to Yekaterinburg, north of the Kazakh border.

To save money, many fans will be turning away from flights in favor of taking buses or Russia's sleeper train services.

In Nizhny Novgorod, one of Russia's oldest cities, construction is frantically underway to try and ensure -- like many host cities -- its outdated road and rail links are up to scratch to accommodate the influx of thousands of football fans.

The Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, as well as two others around the country, suffered serious damage during construction after a fire broke out in one of the stands.

Sergey Pichushkin, the stadium's project director, admits there have been setbacks but remains confident everything will be on schedule.

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