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Moscow Metro
September 19, 2008 20:33


A brilliant example of Soviet architecture, the Moscow metro has become popular among tourists for its ornate and elegant design. Opened in 1935 it is now second most heavily used subway in the world. It has 12 lines, 117 stations, and some 10m people traveling every day.

The first plans for a rapid transit system in Moscow date back to the times of the Russian empire but they were postponed by World War I, October Revolution, and the Civil War and they were only implemented during Stalin's rule. When Moscow's population reached 4 million in 1930 the authorities said it was necessary to create additional public transport as early as possible. To attract labor force they propagated labor heroism. 21% of the annual city budget was spent on construction works.

On May 15th when the first train for public was launched people queued all night to be the first passengers on the line. Back then you would need two tickets, a yellow one to get to Sokolniki and a red one to travel back. The tickets were marked when you entered the subway to make sure your trip didn't last longer than 35 minutes.

The Metro became a shelter for Muscovites during war years. 500 thousand people took cover there every night to survive the frequent air attacks by Germany. On the stations you could get food, medical help, and even books! 150 children were born in the subway during that time.

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Up until 1955 the metro was named after Lazar Kaganovich, one of Stalin's most trusted advisors and an instrumental figure in the construction of the metro, but the system was renamed the V. I. Lenin Moscow Metropolitan Railway.

It has not been officially confirmed, but many independent studies suggest that a second, deeper metro system exists under military jurisdiction and was designed for emergency evacuation of key city personnel in case of nuclear attack during the Cold War. It is believed that it consists of a single track and connects the Kremlin, chief HQ (Genshtab), Lubyanka (FSB) Headquarters) and the Ministry of Defence, as well as numerous other secret installations. There are also entrances to the system from several civilian buildings such as the Russian State Library, Moscow State University, (MSU) and at least two stations of the regular metro. It is speculated that these would allow for the evacuation of a small number of randomly chosen civilians, in addition to most of the elite military personnel. A suspected junction between the secret system and normal Metro is behind the station Sportivnaya of the Sokolnicheskaya. The final section of this system was completed in 1997.

Although the Metro is a complex system, it has a very low rate of accidents. However, two terrorist attacks took place in the subway. In 1997 a bomb on a crowded train between Izmailovskaya and Pervomaiskaya stations killed 7 people. On February 6th 2004 an explosion wrecked a train between Avtozavodskaya and Paveletskaya stations on line 2 of the metro, killing 42 and wounding 250.

New stations appear on the Moscow tube every year, however they could hardy compare with the beauty and grandeur of the old ones. Some stations, such as Okhotni Ryad, Tverskaya, Mayakovskaya, are very popular trysts. Often in the subway's connecting passages you can see musicians playing all kinds of music, from old Soviet/Russian songs to classical compositions.

 

 

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READ MORE ABOUT MOSCOW METRO... 

Source -
    www.metro.molot.ru
www.metro.ru www.wikipedia.org.ru


Tags: Russian Metro Moscow Metro Moscow   

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