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Moscow became the capital of Russia and the Soviet Union after the revolution of 1917. Then it had 1.7 million inhabitants. Today the city has more than 9 million inhabitants and about 1000 km2 (40 km from one side to the other). In 1932 construction of Moscow's metro began as a piece of art with elegant and huge stations. Today the Moscow metro seems to be the busiest in the world, carrying an average of 8-9 million passengers on a normal weekday, i.e. some 3,000,000,000 (!) a year.

The Moscow Metro is 265.4 km long and has 164 stations. Although there are line numbers on some maps lines are identified by names referring to the areas they serve. There's also a 20 km long ring line connecting all other lines. The system is almost entirely underground although some lines (1, 2, 4) cross the Moskva river and line 1 also the Yauza river on a bridge. An exception is the Filyovskaya which has a longer surface section between Kievskaya and Molodyozhnaya with 7 above ground stations.

The first line opened on 15 May 1935 between Sokol'niki and Park Kul'tury with a branch to Smolenskaya which reached Kievskaya in April 1937 (crossing Moskva river on a bridge). Two more lines were opened before World War II. In March 1938 the Arbatskaya line was extended to Kurskaya station (now Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya - dark blue line). In Sept. 1938 the Gorkovsko-Zamoskvoretskaya line opened between Sokol and Teatral'naya (without Tverskaya station which was added in 1979).

The projects of the third stage of the Moscow metro were delayed during the War. Two metro sections were put into service: Teatralnaya - Avtozavodskaya (3 stations, crossing the Moskva river in a deep tunnel) and Kurskaya - Izmaylovskiy Park (4 stations).

After the War construction started on the fourth stage of the metro, which included the Kol'tsevaya line and a deep part of the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line from Pl. Revolyutsii to Kievskaya.

The Kol'tsevaya line was planned first as a line running under the Sadovoye Koltso (Garden Ring), a boulevard ring running along the limits of 16th century Moscow. The first part of the line - from Park Kul'tury to Kurskaya (1950) is indeed situated under this boulevard. But later plans were changed and the northern part of the ring line runs 1-1.5 km outside the Sadovoye Koltso, thus providing service for 7 (out of 9) railway stations. The next part of the Kol'tsevaya line opened in 1952 (Kurskaya - Belorusskaya) and in 1954 the ring line was completed.

The reason for the construction of a deep part of the Arbatskaya was the beginning of the Cold War. Stations are very deep and were planned to serve for hiding people even in the case of nuclear war. After finishing the line in 1953, the upper tracks between Pl.Revolyutsii and Kievskaya were closed. In fact they were reopened in 1958 as a part of the Filyovskaya. In the further development of the metro, the term stages was not used anymore, although sometimes the stations opened in 1957-1958 are referred to as the fifth stage.

The Moscow Metro has standard Russian gauge, 1524 mm, and third rail supply. The average distance between stations is 1800 m (!), the shortest with 585 m is between Aleksandrovskiy Sad and Arbatskaya and the longest with 3.5 km between Volgogradskiy Prospekt and Tekstilshchiki. The long distances between stations has the positive effect of a commercial speed of 42 km/h.

Since the 1970's, platforms have been built 155 m long, prepared for 8-car trains. Trains on lines 2, 6 and 7 consist of 8 cars, on lines 1, 3, 8, 9, 10 of 7 cars and on lines 4, 5 and 11 of 6 cars. All cars (both older E-series and newer 81-series) are 20 m long with four doors on either side. The Moscow metro train is identical to those used in all ex-Soviet metro cities (St. Petersburg, Nizhni Novgorod, Minsk, Kiev, Kharkov, etc.) and in Budapest and Prague (see links below for more details on trains).

Whereas most transfer stations have two separate stations carrying two different names and connected by foot tunnels, 3 offer comfortable cross-platform transfer, between lines 6 and 7 at Kitay-Gorod, between lines 2 and 11 at Kashirskaya and between lines 6 and 8 at Tret'yakovskaya.
Moscow Metro Lines

Line 1: Sokol'nicheskaya (Kirovsko-Frunzenskaya) 26.2 km, 41 min

Line 2: Zamoskvoretskaya 36.8 km, 50 min

Line 3: Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya 18.9 km, 30 min

Line 4: Filyovskaya 14.4 km, 27 min

Line 5: Kol'tsevaya (ring line) 19.4 km, 29 min

Line 6: Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya 38.1 km, 58 min

Line 7: Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya 35.9 km, 48 min

Line 8: Kalininskaya 13.6 km, 17 min

Line 9: Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya 40 km, 60 min

Line 10: Lyublinskaya - 18.4 km, 25 min

Line 11: Kakhovskaya - 3.5 km, 5 min
Operated as a branch of Line 2 from Kashirskaya to Kakhovskaya until 1995.


The following sections are currently under construction:

2004 - a new entrance to the existing station Mayakovskaya (line 2)
2006 - stations Sretenskiy Bul'var and Trubnaya on line 10 with respective transfers to lines 1, 6 and 9
2007 - stations Dostoyevskaya and Mar'ina Roscha on line 10
2007 -- station Slavyanskiy Bul'var and segment Park Pobedy - Kuntsevskaya on line 3 (stations Kuntsevskaya, Molodyozhnaya and Krylatskoye will become part of line 3 after completion of this segment, line 4 will terminate at Pionerskaya; station Minskaya is to be completed on a later date)

Light Metro: Bul'var Dmitriya Donskogo - Buninskaya Alleya ( - Checherskiy Proyezd 2004) ( - Novokur'yanovo 2005)
Late 2004 - Mini-Metro: Kievskaya - Mezhdunarodnaya ( - Moskva-Citi 2005)

More projects for the future include some metro extensions, but also a mini-metro and some light rail lines (by Yuri Popov)
Practical Info

The Moscow Metro operates between 6:00 and 1:00 and about 8 million people use the system every day. Frequency of trains is 90 seconds during rush hours and 2-4 minutes during the rest of the day. 10 minutes headway after midnight.

FARES (from 1 Oct 2002) for the metro only by Russian money R.:
Single - 13,00; 2 trips - 26.00
Monthly Pass (up to 70 metro trips) - 550.00
Monthly Pass for all modes (metro, tram, trolleybus, bus) - 750.00
Smartcards (unlimited travel) 30 days - 350.00; 90 days - 800.00; 365 days - 3750.00
A new fare system based on distance travelled might be introduced in the next few years.

Moscow Metro History
Line 1

15/05/1935        Sokolniki Park kultury
1/05/1957 Sportivnaya
12/01/1959 Universitet (due to corrosion of the bridge, Leninskiye Gory station was skipped by trains since 1989, in 1988-89 by-passing bridges were built, the renewed station will be opened in 2002 under the name Vorobyovy Gory
30/12/1963 Yugo-zapadnaya
31/12/1965 Preobrazhenskaya Ploschad
1/08/1990   Ulitsa Podbelskogo
14/12/2002 Vorob'yovy Gory station reopened after 19 years of closure.

Line 2 and Line 11
11/09/1938 Sokol Teatralnaya (without Tverskaya, built-in later)
1/01/1943   Avtozavodskaya (Novokuznetskaya and Paveletskaya opened 20/11/1943)
31/12/1964 Rechnoy Vokzal
11/08/1969 Kashirskaya Kakhovskaya (on the Line 11). Kashirskaya station had two halls; only one track in each hall was used
15/07/1979 Tverskaya, built-in without stopping operation of the line!
30/12/1984 Orekhovo; with the opening of this extension half of trains from the centre were going toward Kakhovskaya, the others toward Orekhovo.
6/09/1985   Krasnogvardeyskaya; only each fourth train on the line was going toward Kakhovskaya)
18/11/1995 -returning tracks behing Kashirskaya station, Line 11 separated from Line 2.

Line 3

13/03/1938 Aleksandrovskiy sad (Line 4) Ploshchad Revolyutsii Kurskaya
18/01/1944 Izmaylovskiy park (15/05/1944 - Elektrozavodskaya added)
5/04/1953   Kiyevskaya
24/09/1954 temporary station Pervomayskaya in the premises of the metro depot behind Izmaylovskiy park station was opened; closed in 1961 with the extending of the line.
21/10/1961 Pervomayskaya
22/07/1963 Shchyolkovskaya

Line 4

15/05/1935 Okhotnyi Ryad (Line 1) Aleksandrovskiy Sad Smolenskaya (a branch of line 1).
20/03/1937 Kiyevskaya
1953 with the opening of lower stretch between Ploshchad Revolyutsii and Kievskaya was closed. Opened again in 1958 when the western at-grade extension was built.
7/11/1958   Kutuzovskaya
7/11/1959   Fili
13/10/1961 Pionerskaya
5/07/1965   Molodyozhnaya
31/12/1989 Krylatskoye

Line 5

1/01/1950  Park kultury Kurskaya
30/01/1952 Kurskaya Byelorusskaya
14/03/1954 Byelorusskaya Park Kyltury

Line 6

1/05/1958  Prospekt Mira VDNKh
13/10/1962 Oktyabrskaya Novye Cheryomushki (Shabolovskaya station was not opened being built in draft)
15/04/1964 temporary station Kaluzhskaya in the premises of the metro depot was opened; closed in 1974 with the extending of the line.
30/12/1970 Oktyabrskaya Kitay-Gorod
31/12/1971 Prospekt Mira Kitay-Gorod
12/08/1974 Belyayevo
29/09/1978 Medvedkovo
5/11/1980  Shabolovskaya
6/11/1987   Tyoplyi Stan
17/01/1990 Bitsevskiy Park

Line 7

31/12/1966 Taganskaya Vykhino
30/12/1970 Kitay-Gorod
30/12/1972 Barrikadnaya Oktyabrskoye Pole
17/12/1975 Barrikadnaya Kitay-Gorod
28/12/1975 Planernaya

Line 8

30/12/1979 Marksistskaya - Novogireyevo
26/01/1986 Tretyakovskaya

Line 9

4/11/1983  Serpukhovskaya Yuzhnaya
6/11/1985   Prazhskaya
25/01/1986 Borovitskaya
31/12/1987 Chekhovskaya
31/12/1988 Savyolovskaya
1/03/1991   Otradnoye
31/12/1992 Bibirevo
15/07/1994 Altufyevo
31/08/2000 Ulitsa Akademika Yangelya
12/12/2001 Annino
25/12/2002 - Bul'var Dmitriya Donskogo

Line 10

28/12/1995 Chkalovskaya Volzhskaya (Dubrovka opened later)
25/12/1996 Maryino
11/12/1999 Dubrovka
This exposition covers four "historic" lines built from 1931 to 1954. Currently only the First line is operational.
First Line 1931 - 1935
Second Line 1935 - 1939
Third Line 1939 - 1944
Fourth Line 1944 - 1954

Moscow Metro: The Underground Dream

As a system of public transportation and a work of urban infrastructure, the Moscow Metro is an unparalleled example of architecture and design. The most grandiose architectural phenomenon of the Stalinist era, the vast system maps not only the huge ambitions of the Soviet State under Stalin, but records in amazing detail the ideological and artistic shifts that characterize the period. The historical photographs and contemporary documentation on this website illustrate not only the evolution of a rapid mass transit, but also the remarkable attention paid to aesthetic media -- architecture, sculpture, painting and decorative arts -- in a monumental public works project.

The Moscow Metro provided a stage on which life in the Soviet Union was vividly played out, from the vast forces marshaled for its construction to the shelter it provided for Moscovites during World War II. By the end of the Stalinist era, it had evolved into a strange hybrid of palace, basilica and fortress.

The political and ideological course of the Soviet Union during the Stalinist period is reflected in the distinct aesthetic styles of the four principle lines and forty stations constructed under Stalin from 1932 to 1954.

The First Line, built in the early `1930's, possesses an invigorating modernism that is a high-water mark of the Soviet avant-garde. With the Second Line, built in the late 1930's, a program of monumental sculpture and art was introduced that signaled Stalin's stranglehold on the ideological goals of the Soviet state. The Third Line, built during the "Great Patriotic War" from 1939 - 1944, became a symbol of Soviet tenacity and ultimately a memorial to the people's resistance during this devastating period. The Fourth Line, completed in 1954 shortly after the death of Stalin, is perhaps the most flamboyantly ideological and represents the epitome of the leader's vision for the Metro. With the demise of Stalin, the expression of the system reverted to its rationalist origins.

Although constructed by a tyrant for a people living in terror, this subterranean proletarian paradise offers an ironically humane vision of public social space, both beautiful and functional. Today, with construction continuing, the Moscow Metro covers over 200 kilometers of track and serves 9 million people each day.
The Moscow Metro is the most popular and, that is why, the most overcrowded public transport facility of the city. The first line of the Moscow Metro was open in 1935, it covered the distance from Sokolniki to Gorky Park and included 13 stations. Currently, there are over 150 stations (including transition stations) of the Moscow Metro. The Metro stations were designed and embellished by prominent Russian architects, artists and sculptors. Their great talent and decorative skills created a peculiar underground network of great artistic value. The gamut of original materials, which were used to ornament the stations, is so wide that the Moscow Metro may be called a unique Museum of Geology or even a peculiar Museum of Arts.

The fee for one trip by Metro is fixed, i.e. it doesn't depend on the length of your route. Don't forget to get a Metro token, when going somewhere by the Metro. You may buy it in the Metro entrance halls. Then, deposit it into a slot of an automatic entry gate and get in. If you have a season ticket, just show it to a ticket-collector when passing by.

However, a new, more convenient method of payment is already applied at nearly all Metro stations, it includes the use of plastic cards instead of tokens. Plastic cards, as well as tokens, are on sale in the Metro entrance halls. You may pay for a certain number of trips by Metro (5, 10 20, etc.) and this number will be recorded on the card. The only thing you have to do is to insert the plastic card into the slot of an entry gate, where the information is read, and get in.

Check with the Metro outline to map out the route before going anywhere by Metro, it may only help you to avoid many train changes and find the shortest way up to the place you need.

The stations of the Moscow Metro are open since 5:30 a.m. The last train leaves its final route-point at 1:00 a.m., late at night, that's the time, when passengers are not allowed to make transitions from one line to another.

Many Muscovites go to work and back home by Metro, that's why you should be aware of the rush hours in the Moscow Metro on working days. Try to avoid using Metro during peak hours in the morning, between 7.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m., and in the evening, from 4.00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

However, many stations are always overcrowded. In most cases, these are the stations located close to railway and bus terminals, biggest department stores and market places.

The main rule a person has to follow, when diving into the depth of the Moscow Metro for the first time, says that no one is to be afraid of a crowd. However, no one should trust the crowd completely and follow it thoughtlessly. If you can't get into the Metro car, don't try to squeeze into it, but wait till next train comes, you might get a better chance of finding a vacant place.

If you want to change from one line to another, use the Metro layout to choose and plan the best and the shortest route. The task becomes easier, if a station has only one transfer. As a rule, the Metro guiding boards indicate the lines and stations and you may always find the needed one. The exit boards are also very simple and easy-to read. They display a brief inscription and the names of nearby streets, department stores or organisations.

In case a station has two or even more transfers, try to get calm and don't follow the crowd, in this case you may miss your direction. Instead, try to find the information board indicating the needed station. If it doesn't help, don't get scared and try to ask other people for help. In most cases, the Muscovites are friendly enough to show you the way out of the difficult situation. If not, continue to ask the passers-by and the fifth one will definitely help you. Moreover, there is a duty personnel at every station, it's their job to help you.

Take care of your personal belongings. The crowd always attracts dishonest people. Please, look after your bags, handbags, pockets, etc. Don't leave your belongings in the Metro trains or in any other public transport. Otherwise, you'll always have a small chance of getting information about the lost things through calling 222-2085 (Metro) and 923-8753 (overland transport).

You may always find the Metro entrance easily. Whatever it looks like, it is indicated by big red letter "M" (illuminated in the evenings and late at night).

At present, the Moscow Metro cannot provide foreign guests with the information written in English and a newcomer may get serious problems trying to work a way through strange combinations of the Russian letters and words. However, we'll try to cover all major aspects awaiting our foreign guests in the capital of Russia.

Information boards on station walls show the line stations and transfers to stations of other lines. There is a Metro layout in each train car. For convenience each Metro line has its own color. However, you cannot always find the line of required color on light-boards of the Metro stations, which may only indicate the names of stations without displaying the colors of lines. As far as the line color makes the whole job of finding the desired Metro route easier we provide you with the names of lines in English transcription and the color of each line

Remember the meaning of some inscriptions on information boards and panels used in Metro:







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