Happy Birthday Moscow Metro!

© Mariusz Klauzniak / Flickr - Moscow

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Representatives of the world’s biggest transport organisations celebrate Moscow Metro’s 80th anniversary. 

All aboard! Moscow Metro is celebrating its 80th anniversary today, Friday 15 May, with a selection of festive events.  

80 years ago today hundreds camped out on the streets overnight hoping to be on the very first 7 am regular service along the underground section of 11 kilometres and 13 stations from Sokolniki to the Park Kultury stations. It took more than 30 years to come up with a solution to the city’s transport problems, but the final result was a feat of engineering to be able to tunnel through the city’s challenging soils and rivers.

Fast forward 80 years and today’s Moscow’s Metro is the 7th largest in the world with 12 lines, 196 stations and 327,5 kilometres of tracks. An average of more than seven million people use it every day and that figure reaches more than eight million on working days. Over 10,000 trains serve passengers daily with minimal traffic intervals of 90 seconds.

Its future expansion plans include 35 new stops to be opened over the next three years, and 75 miles of new track will make the Moscow metro the world’s fourth largest after Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing.

The city’s metro is also reputed as being the most beautiful in the world. Dubbed the “Palaces for the People” in 1935, it created a subterranean paradise full of original chandeliers, marble sculptures, intricate mosaics and heroic statues for the city’s workers to enjoy.

An official reception and dinner with the Mayor of Moscow, Mr Sergey Sobyanin, and Head of Moscow Metro, Mr Dmitry Pegov, will take place in presence of representatives of the world’s biggest transport organisations from London, Singapore, Berlin, Madrid, Shanghai, Brussels, Paris and Hong Kong.

This interesting time-lapse video by Russian cinematographer Sasha Aleksandrov nicely captures the hustle and bustle of a typical day in the life of the Moscow Metro, whilst over at the Guardian newspaper a dedicated web page shows photos of a metro trip through time, and Google has devoted a Google Doodle on its Russian-language homepage to mark the celebrations.

 

 

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