History of Moscow metro

Uploaded by SMGedYou on 09.01.2013

On request by Moscow's government
Fund "Education in third millenium" Presents TV series "Moscow for all times"
History of Moscow subway
Metropolitan, translated from French, means urban.
Indeed this method of transportation distinctive of capitals or cities with population of million or more.
Despite having different names in other places.
In England "Underground", In the U.S. "Subway"
Both names mean one thing; underground rapid transit.
First subway line, little longer that 3.5 kilometers
set in the shallow tunnels using steam appeared in London in 1863
Probably since then the discussion of Moscow subway began
Due to many factors, opposition to the construction of subway was stronger
First design appeared in 1901 provided circular overpass along Kamer-Kollezhsky Val
In a year, a most famous plan was presented,
due to preserved sketches, by engineer Balinsky
He proposed to join subway lines, Zamoskvorechye and Tverskaya Zastava
Trains were to use elevated structure along Kremlin wall.
To which antiquity lovers objected
Tram operators weren't enthusiastic about the plan either, because they feared loss of the revenue
The design was reviewed in Moscow city hall
Where it was decided that organization of off-street was ahead of time
and Mr. Balinsky plan was rejected
That decision was stirred by fears of Moscow clergy
As a part of the plan, a piece of the line was set under Tverskaya street
It was thought that descending underground, to hell, was against Orthodox beliefs
Following designs seemed closer to practical realization
In 1911, city board and then city hall reviewed more realistic
proposal to build tram tunnel under Lubyanka passage, Ilyinka, and Red square
Which later was set to become a part of future subway network.
Plan of engineer Knorre proposed in 1912
Suggested construction in two phases, first radial and next circular that would follow Garden Ring.
Due to city's fiscal inability and beginning of The Great War
none of the plans were realized
But the experience wasn't lost
Those documents were helpful in the first stages of subway construction
for subway builders (Metrostroy)
By the early 1930's, population in Moscow increased threefold compared to pre-revolutionary period.
Nor tram, neither new bus and trolley lines, could satisfy increased demand.
In first years of Soviet rule, subway was treated with precaution
Thinking of it as another way of Capitalistic exploitation of labor
meant to deliver workers fast to factories and plants.
But realities of fast-growing city forced the change of said ideology
To be more exact, replacement with new one
Subway of "Country of Working People" was set to become the best in the world
to demonstrate advantages of Socialism
By the time construction of subway was adopted in July 15 1931
Rapid transit networks existed in 15 cities around the world
which allowed the use of foreign experience and avoid their mistakes.
Lack of private property allowed for straight subway lines
instead of curvy to avoid private land like in other countries.
Sharp turns decreased operating speeds and weren't comfortable for passengers
Chasing immediate profits, savings of initial investment and lack of agreement among contractors
building different lines,
led to networks uncomfortable to passengers, and created difficulties in future expansion.
In Moscow though, 2 years after plan of construction was ratified
in March 1933, layout of subway, more than 80km in overall length was approved
contained 10 radial lines. First line, Sokolniki - Palace of Culture, was chosen for a reason.
It connected the center of capital to the Palace of Soviets
Construction of which began in place of destroyed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
It also delivered passengers to 3 Station Square and places of rest for workers
Primary task of those years was relief of central streets
First subway was put in service on May 15, 1935.
In 1937, with with aid of new subway line, Kievsky station was connected to the center.
A year later Kurskaya was added.
In '38 a segment Sverdlov Square - Sokol was put in service
Where by that time construction of single floor housing project was complete.
Almost every year since, new stations were put into service.
This tradition became crucial for years to come.
It would be wrong not to mention atmosphere of enthusiasm and emotional upheaval
which were caused by the construction of Moscow subway.
High-powered construction collected experts from all over the country,
and special committee selected the best of the best
Competition among crews, ceremonial reception of sandhogs underground.
General support, despite lack of experience, allowed in record-breaking 4 years
completion of enormous amount of high quality work
In those 4 years, throughout land surveying is done
In ancient part of the city, work was done deeper by tunneling.
On site of Krapotkinskaya - Park of Culture, where underground line was set close to the river
which could cause problems with ground water penetration
work was done using cut and cover method.
The whole street had become a construction site
later it was renamed to honor subway construction workers
Calculation of city buildings and passenger traffic defined construction of transfer stations and surface pavilions
placement of which tightly connected to the main streets of the city.
All of these problems were solved my Moscow's architects.
Architecture deserves a fair mention,
In London's Underground, architecture was the last hope to attract passengers from competing bus companies
But that architecture is more of an afterthought
Over here though, architects were involved from the very beginning
Only a year before launch of the first line, government asked architects
to remove the feel of "being in the dungeon" at stations under construction
This purely psychological factor was very urgent as half of citizens were from the countryside
and were mostly believers despite spreading atheistic propaganda
It required breakthrough architectural solutions
to rid passengers of fear of the underworld
A detailed analysis of how our masters were able to accomplish this task
will be discussed in our next film, because Moscow's subway architecture
deserves a separate thread
In 1930's the whole country was building subway in Moscow
For the party, it wasn't just ideological frontier, it was also a strategic facility
party blah blah...actually the person who was the head of the construction, never went to school and officially was a shoemaker
That is why Moscow subway was named after him (Kaganovich) for some time
Tense international relations indicated inevitable war
which explain the fast pace of the construction
Since the first days of war, the subway was working in two modes;
As a main way of transportation, because surface transit was heavily reduced
and as bomb shelter
In long hours of bombing, subway had become a second home to many muscovites
especially for children and women.
For safety rails were decked, lots of folding beds were stored
Places of meal distribution and medical assistance were organized
Mobile library was operating, as well as portable movie theater
Maternity hospital was set at the station "Red Gates"
Throughout the war 217 children were born in the underground
Defense ministry conducted meetings in the safety of Moscow subway
Despite the difficult years over the course of the war, construction of the subway continued,
in 1943 portion of line from Sverdlov Square to Avtozavodskaya was opened
in '44 another line opened from Kurskaya to Izmaylovsky Park (Partizanskaya)
To honor selfless labor of subway builders during war in 1946,
were awarded a medal from Defense Committee, a year later received Order of Lenin
Moscow underground experienced peak of construction in 50's and 60's
First segment of circular (brown) line was put in service in 1950,
already in '54 it was completed
Just in 4 years the most difficult line with many transfers was completed
It passes under Moscow-river 4 times
Subsequently new lines were laid and existing ones were extended
But some errors were made too
in 1959 Luzhnetskiy Metro Bridge was put in service
Because of the rush, the bridge, which houses the station, had to be renovated
and station was closed, which caused construction of bypass tracks
Expensive rehabilitation only recently entered final stage.
Even before the war, lots of machinery was made to service the network
most passengers have no clue of existence of such machines
During the first days of the first line, there were 4 car trains servicing the line
In 50's trains were extended to 7 cars
Today all lines are served by 8 car trains, with maximum capacity of 250 customers
On average each station has capacity of 40 trains per hour in each direction
Metro has become the underground city within the city
which has repeated the same circular-radial urban plans of the city above
Most of the time station names represent correctly names of the streets above
Enormous subterranean city has it's own Authority, construction and design bureaus
shops, educational facilities, factories and even museum
which opened in 1967 at Sportivnaya station
"yes to Metro in 3 years"
If you visit the museum, you would be surprised by simple tools of the first builders.
Visit motorman's cab
youth, accustomed to magnetic cards, will discover amusing paper tickets,
tokens and monthlies
Older generation will experience nostalgic reminiscence
when they see first turnstile
Such turnstiles were first installed at Red Gate station in 1952
single ride then cost 50 kopeeks (cents), after 1961 redenomination cost of the ride stayed the same
and for long time remained at 5 kopeeks, famous "five for the subway"
Preschoolers were admitted for free
There were always discounts for different groups of citizens
Those discounts remain today due to the subsidy from city's budget
In the new economy the subway didn't become a "milking cow"
despite increases in transportation costs for majority of the riders
simply put, subway was too cheap
take 6 zones of London system for comparison, it would cost around 5 dollars
in Berlin bit over $2, in New York $1.5, in Paris 60 cents
Our fare is significantly cheaper, even though costs of maintenance and security improvements
increase annually
Various research institutes are developing for better and safer rides for customers
For example, in 1956 jointly with research institute was discovered a way to decrease noise levels in the cars
using noise absorbing blocks
Common to us "departure clocks" which are used to count intervals between trains
too came later in the day,
they still amuse some of the tourists who see them for the first time
In 1970 all ventilation towers were under remote control
Air quality checked constantly, depending on this, mode of ventilation is adjusted accordingly
Subway of the capital city though is warmed by machinery and it's passengers
Implementation of new doors, which sometimes cause discomfort to wandering customers,
helps to retain heat in the winter
Replacement of escalators allowed to increase speed to 94 cm. per second
lost and found was founded in 1953 in Komsomolskaya station.
Every Muscovite at least once participated in the event
where within a day he/she received a coupon with station's name
which was to be surrendered at the exit.
Along with important statistics of passenger traffic,
was discovered that average Moscow citizen spends an hour in the subway
with average trip of 25 minutes
Ridership statistics of Moscow underground are impressive
Overall length is over 260 km
There are 163 stations on 11 lines
Daily, Moscow subway transports more than 8.5 million of passengers.
For comparison, London's metro, over 8 km in length
and 275 stations, daily transports 3.7 million customers
minding that population of the city is 7 million people.
Throughput of Moscow metro is higher and its easier to use
23 transfer points connect 54 stations
at some transfers you can pick either one of 3 or even 4 stations
there are maps and signs everywhere, which help tourists understand system well
Currently subway is the only fast way to travel within the city
you can calculate your trip precise to the minute
Its very rare that trains are off schedule
you can be sure that full ride on the circle line will take 30 minutes
with average speed of 41 km/hour
unlike motorists who drive on the Garden Ring
At the launch of the first line, there were 5 minute gaps between the trains
Now gaps are average 1.5 minute
more impressive numbers; more than 54% of all intracity transit,
more than 24 thousand transit employees
Over the years Moscow metro transported more than 90 billion riders
Its easy to calculate how many times, hypothetical global population
could have used it.
After we spoke of the history, it would be wrong not to mention future of the subway
There are 20 new stations in the plan
In the old days, whole country was building our subway
now builders can only count on the money from the municipal fund
which cause slowdowns and sometimes stop the work.
but it was revealed that stopping the work is just slightly cheaper than continuing it
That is why expansions are still conducted, albeit at the slower rate.
From time to time, residents of remote neighborhoods receive new stations
Already there are decorative works being done at station "Park Pobedy"
opening of the subway in North Butovo will be very significant
because for the first time, subway line will go beyond the border of the city
when peopele say our metro is the best, they usually refer to
safe and speedy trains, cleanliness and beautifully decorated stations
many don't know that many engineering solutions
from tunneling methods to little things that bring comfort
were used for the first time
This was my first time doing subtitles, 3 days it took me to do this tiny short film. If anything is wrong or if you have questions regarding my horrible translation, please comment.
Rights to video belong to original owners/authors, subtitles are my work.