Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Moscow Metro in Moscow, Russia is the world's most heavily used metro system (see List of metro systems). It is well known for the ornate design of many of the stations, containing stunningly beautiful examples of socialist realist art.
Description of the Metro
In total, the Moscow Metro has 265.2 km of track, 11 lines and 165 stations, and on a normal weekday it carries 8-9 million passengers. The lines have triple identification: by numbers, by names, and by colors. The voice announcements mention lines by name, while in colloquial usage they are mostly referred by color, except Lyublinskaya and Kakhovskaya which have been assigned shades of green, that was assigned to Zamoskvoretskaya long before. The longer lines run radially through the city, except Koltsevaya (line 5), which is a 20 km long ring line connecting all the radial lines. On the ring line, travellers can detect the direction of the trains from the voice of the announcers: male voices for clockwise travel, and female voices for counter-clockwise travel. On the radial lines, travellers heading toward the center of Moscow will hear male voiced announcements, and travellers heading away from the center will hear female voiced announcements (a good mnemonic rule here is ‘the boss urges to work, the wife urges to go home’). The system is almost entirely built 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.
History of the Moscow Metro
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 September 1938 the Gorkovsko-Zamoskvoretskaya line opened between Sokol and Teatral'naya.
The projects of the third stage of the Moscow Metro were delayed during World War II. 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 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.
There is an interesting urban legend about how they actually came up with a Kol'tsevaya line (ring line) for the Moscow Metro. A group of architects came to Joseph Stalin with the Metro blueprints to let him know about the progress and what was being done at that moment. While looking at the drawings, Stalin poured himself some coffee and spilt it a little bit over the edge of the cup. When he was asked whether he liked the project so far or not, he put his cup right on the center of the Metro blueprints and left in silence. The bottom of the cup left a brown circle on the drawings. The architects looked at them and realized that it was exactly what they had been missing all this time. They took it as a sign of Stalin's genius and rushed to the construction site to give orders for building the ring line. This legend, of course, may be attributed to Stalin's cult of personality. However, if you look at the map of the Moscow Metro, the ring line is always printed in brown.
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 in the event of nuclear war. After finishing the line in 1953, the upper tracks between Pl. Revolyutsii and Kievskaya were closed and later 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".
Interesting facts about the system
The Moscow Metro has broad gauge, 1524 mm, like the regular Russian railways, and third rail supply. The average distance between stations is 1800 m (!), the shortest (585 m) section being between Aleksandrovskiy Sad and Arbatskaya and the longest (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 1970s, 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 other ex-Soviet Metro cities (St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Minsk, Kiev, Kharkov, etc.) and in Budapest and Prague.
On February 6, 2004, an explosion rocked a train between Avtozavodskaya and Paveletskaya stations on line 2 of the metro, killing 42 and wounding 250. Chechen separatists were immediately blamed. Later investigation led to a Karachay-Cherkessian resident, a radical militant, who committed the suicide bombing.
The various lines of the Metro
The colours in the table correspond to the colours of the lines in the map above.
|1||Sokol'nicheskaya (Kirovsko-Frunzenskaya)||1935||26.2 km||41'|
|5||Kol'tsevaya (ring line)||1950||19.4 km||29'|
It should be noted there are plans to extend the Metro system with the addition of several "light-weight" lines, as well as a monorail line between Tymiryazevskaya and VDNKH.
- http://www.metro.ru — Information, history, maps, art (in Russian).
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