Moscow Metro History

Visit Moscow Metro

What to see in the Moscow metro, one of the most emblematic places in the capital. Visiting the Moscow metro is ideal during a guided tour to delight your eyes on its structure while you know its history. Knowing the Moscow metro has never been better.

Explore the Moscow metro

Moscow Metro History

If you plan to visit the Moscow metro, you should know its history: the Moscow metro carries up to 55-60% of all passenger traffic within the city. Historically, it became the first in the USSR, and remains the largest in the post-soviet space. On a global scale, the metro of 3 cities – Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing – is being used with greater intensity.
Moscow metro began its history from May 15, 1935, when it was opened for public use, although test trips were carried out from the beginning of the first train in October 1934 the first station built on a large scale.

The first line was only 11.6 km long, connecting 13 stations, among which there were 12 trains for 4 cars. From  Sokolniki to Okhotny station was a line, which then branched into two: Park of Culture and Smolenskaya

Beginnings of the Moscow metro

Initially, Moscow metro was named LM Kaganovich, who in 1931 presented a report in the Plenary of the Central Committee of the CPSU on the need to build the subway. But since 1955 it was renamed, and until now is Moscow metro.

During the Second World War the subway was used as a shelter for bombs. But as soon as the incursions of German aviation ceased; the subway began not only to restore but to continue building. New metro lines were carried out even during the war years; since there are commemorative plaques in 7 stations.
Postwar stations were also built with the possibility not only of turning them into an air raid shelter but in the case of a nuclear, bacteriological or chemical attack. So there were stations of high depth. However, the sealed doors are equipped at the exits of all stations and tunnels, everywhere there are diesel power plants and ventilation shafts with filters.

Now the metro has 12 metro lines, the number of stations has reached 192, there are 27 exchange nodes. Only 10 stations are on land and 5 on the ground (on bridges and overpasses), the rest is underground. The total length has already exceeded 320.9 km. Each day around 8-9 million passengers are transported. Like the rest of the transport network, the subway also has a radial ring structure. In addition to the classic subway lines, Moscow has landlines, light subway lines and a monorail of land.

What to see in the Moscow metro today

There are tickets for individual trips and more profitable reusable travel cards, there are tickets for 90 minutes. Individual tickets are suitable for all public transportation in the city.

The Moscow metro is not only a convenient and accessible component of the transport system; but also an architectural monument. Many stations are assigned with rich decoration, so there you can see examples of architecture and art belonging to the era of socialist realism. 44 stations are among the objects of cultural heritage.

In the plans of the Moscow, the government is to open 64 new stations before 2020.

Development of the Moscow metro for years

Schemes in the Moscow metro has undergone many changes, reflecting not only the relative position of the lines, but especially the fashion and design inherent in different periods of our history.

The first line scheme

The scheme is taken from the Trud editorial brochure in 1935. In the lobbies hang other schemes, which can be seen in some photos from the 1930s.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to determine exactly how to look at the general cargo scheme during the period 1937-1953.

In 1954, such the black and white diagrams were in the wagons.

Metro map 1954

Subsequently, the design of the scheme changed very slightly. The changes referred only to the launch of new sites. In 1958, the lines of the diagrams are shown in different colors. That color solution is kept unchanged to this day. All cities the meters of the former USSR, the first line is indicated by a red color, the second – blue (sometimes green), and third, accordingly, in green or blue.

Metro map 1964
Moscow metro map 1967

Cardinally the design of the scheme changes at the beginning of the 70 years. The smooth curves of the lines disappear in the past. Now in fashion, simplicity, clarity and speed. the circular line for the first time interpreted a perfect circle, and the radius – the straight lines. The image of the subway logo – the stylized letter “M” – has also changed. If the 70-year-old scheme still buffs for Violet metro line, at the end of the decade, all lines are represented by straight lines with no angles and sprains.

Metro map 1978
Metro map 1970

Since 1979, a new outline of lines appears in the carriages. Now the annular line represents two semicircles connected by vertical straight lines. The lines become softer again.

The stations in the peripheral part of the city are now being drawn near it.
This solution has allowed to increase the size and describe more clearly the central part of the circuit where the topology of the network is more complicated.

At the same time there and the current logo of the Moscow Metro – the stylized letter “M” in the red circle trimmed in blue, similar lining the tunnel contours.

Metro map 1979

However, this version of the scheme for a long time did not take root. And new scheme has appeared again. The circular line is drawn in a new circle on the right, and stations outside the central part are not pressed against each other. At the beginning, the line represented by dashed lines, but was later replaced by a more straightened one.

Metro map 1983
Metro map 1986

The extension of the Kaluga range in 1987, the design of the circuit has changed again. The Timiryazevsky and Lublin radios under construction appeared on the diagram. Now all the lines were directed strictly horizontally, vertically or at a 45 degree angle. The only exception – the line of the ring – has retained its mark in the form of a regular circle. Repeatedly changing the details; but keeping the basic principles of composition, the design up to September 2003.

Metro map 1987
Metro map 1998

In the most recent versions of this scheme, the construction works were eliminated, and all the names of the stations are duplicated in English.

Metro map 2002

Finally, in September 2003, a completely new design of the underground scheme was introduced.

In the scheme, which was known as “The scheme of the rapid transport lines of Moscow”, added light rail line in the south of Butovo and Solntsevo, monorail line from the station “Timiryazevskaya” to “Exhibition Center”. They show built areas Arbat-Pokrovskaya and Lublin-Dmitrov line. However, for some reason, it is not shown on the “mini-metro” line at MIBC Moscow-City and the southern extension of the Lublin radio.

The main task of the load scheme is to correctly transfer the topology of the network, instead of the scale. In this case, the scale distortion is a concession rather than justified in the name of the convenience of perception and ease of reading.

Metro map 200

The plan caused a lot of complaints from the passengers. The Muscovites complained that the labels are difficult to read; Due to the narrowness and the expressionless lines, it is not easy to understand the topology of the network, especially in the central part of the complex. The experiment was considered unsuccessful and at the end of 2003, a new variant of the wagon scheme was presented.
As of the previous version, the new scheme has inherited the name – “Driving of the rapid transport lines of Moscow,”. However, in general, there was a return to the traditions of the Moscow wagon schemes. The ring line is represented by a regular circle, the lines straighten and become thicker. Due to the increase in the central part of the scheme that has stopped being a large scale, but the section included between the stations in the peripheral part of the city on the left, which maintains similarity.

In addition, the diagram shows a line under construction of mini-metro, the line starts from the “Kievskaya”; although in reality the movement of mini-subway trains will be aligned with the line on the site Filevskaya “Alexandrovsky Garden” – “Kievskaya”.

Interesting design solutions for the future inclusion of the Filevskaya Arbat-Mantle of the Virgin online site. The points of the future interface are indicated by arrows.

Metro map 2003

However, the new scheme is not without deficiencies. The selected image style stations and, in particular, hubs; they make the scheme unnecessarily saturated; which causes irritation and “hurts the eyes.” It is not clear why it was necessary to renounce a successful decision; intuitive and quiet taken in a sample of 2001-2003 schemes.

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Metro circular line an accident or a myth

The secret of creation of the circular line in Moscow metro

It is said that during the development of the lines, in the first project of the Soviet era; Stalin (supreme commander of the communist party and president of the USSR) was looking for a way to make his project faster and more useful for people who wanted to use it; and they did not find how, first to remove pressure to the center of the city; to make changes to the lines, and second, that people could reach their destination faster.

The myth, or legend, is that Stalin at the time of the meeting held a cup of coffee and when leaving the room to take  a little break left on the table this cup of coffee that, being somewhat spilled, left marks on the table,giving rise to a circular line of brown color that crossed and connected with the rest of lines at two ends, thus the circular line of the Moscow metro was born. And until today this theory is maintained by its comic part and its realistic part.

What to know about Moscow metro

During the construction of Moscow metro, and although the government invested considerable amounts of money, the Soviet economy did not allow the proportional development that was needed for the project to take into consideration, for this reason those responsible for the construction of the metro had problems for its progress, one of them was cement, since it was not possible to finish some stretches of tunnels. To the point that one of the builders who had his own house rented rooms of this in exchange for cement for the construction of the metro.

His devotion was so great that he was doing everything possible to make his project move forward. That could be said to be love for his work, love for the metro.

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